This year proved to be another deadly one for coal miners with 55 accidents reported from different coal mines of the province resulting in more than 75 miners losing their lives.
According to the Pakistan Commission for Human Rights Member Habib Tahir Advocate, coal mining is carried out in various areas of Balochistan such as Mach, Harnai, Dukki, Chamlang, but due to the lack of proper safety measures in the coal mines of these areas, an average of 70 to 100 people die of various accidents every year.
According to the report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), more than 430 miners died in the coal mines of Balochistan in the last five years.
As per the HRCP report, in the 65 accidents that occurred during the year 2021, 87 miners lost their lives while 43 more were injured. In these five years, 430 miners have died in the coal mines of the province.
The report went on to make recommendations including increasing the number of trained government safety inspectors; increasing their inspection visits to ensure compliance with safety standards and reduce mine accidents; and ensure ambulance service.
Due to the daily accidents in the mines, the leaders of the Balochistan Labor Federation said that the workers who run the coal mines industry of Balochistan, which gives an annual revenue of billions of rupees, are
deprived of all basic facilities and every day they are sacrificing their lives due to the carelessness and stubbornness of Balochistan Mines Department.
Lala Sultan, the Chairman of Pakistan Coal miners Federation, said that the situation in the coal mines and other industrial establishments including public and private departments of Balochistan is worsening due to the non-implementation of the labor laws of Balochistan as well as the negligence of the officials of the labor department, because every mine accident occurs, a verbal warning is issued.
“The Department of Mines is asked to follow the law. Those responsible for these mine accidents have not been identified till date, nor have any actions been taken against them as per the labor laws” Sultan said.
The labor leader said that cases should be registered against the owners of the mines and the officials of the mines department after conducting a complete investigation of the coal mine accidents that happened in the . previous ten years, including the recent coal mine accident that happened in Harnai. He also said that the officials of the mines department should be bound and they should take immediate steps to implement the Mines Safety Act and Labor Laws.