Delhi Anaj Mandi Fire: Punish the Guilty; Enforce Safety Norms and Labour Laws

CITU is deeply shocked and anguished on learning the details, collected through its cadres in Delhi, of the ghastly fire at Anaj Mandi in North Delhi in the early hours of Sunday, the 8 December, 2019.

It is to be recalled that the fire has resulted in the tragic death of 43 workers and injury to 56 workers, some of them in critical conditions, in the plastic luggage manufacturing factory. The victims were migrant workers, mostly from Bihar, some of them were child labourers, working in long hours of shifts, beyond permissible limits, at a paltry sum of Rs.150 per day in gross violation of minimum wages declared in Delhi. The illegal factory in the congested residential area has violated all safety norms and labour laws. 

The CITU cadres, who visited the place several times to investigate the cause, found that all three authorities - the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), the Government of NCT Delhi and the Union Government are responsible for this tragedy, misgovernance and of corruption.

NDMC is the sanctioning authority and responsible for large scale illegal factories in the congested residential areas like the factory where fire incident took place.

Government of NCT Delhi is responsible for gross failure of its labour enforcement authorities in implementing safety norms, prevention of child labour and enforcement of labour laws including the recently declared minimum wage.

The Union Government is responsible for ending ‘inspection’ of factories and failure/complicity of Delhi police, under its Home Ministry, for allowing such illegal activities in the residential areas.

Absence of safety norms is rampant in Delhi causing fire repeatedly breaking out including the major fire that took place in Jhilmil industrial area this July 2019 causing workers deaths.  

CITU expresses its deepest condolences to the bereaved families and sympathy to those injured. CITU demands adequate compensation to the families of those who died; and medical care and compensation to those injured.

CITU demands proper and speedy investigation of the incident, system failures and corruption involved and punish the guilty.

CITU also demands urgent investigation of the deficiencies in all industrial establishments in Delhi, publish report and take corrective measures; and enforcement of safety norms and labour laws in all such establishments.  

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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