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West Bengal: 19 Factories Have Shut Down In Bankura In Last 8 Years

More than 2000 workers have lost their jobs and they await the payment of their dues.

The locked gates of BKM industries and Manaksia Steel factories are located side by side. Today the only thing new about the factories is the fresh coat of blue paint on the gates.

Rahul Majumder, writing for Ganashakti, reported that the industrial sector at Birsinghpur in Bankura has fallen silent in recent times. As per the report, in the last eight years, 19 factories have shut down in Bankura district of West Bengal.

In June 2018, when Manaksia Steel factory closed down, more than 200 workers were reportedly left without jobs. The unemployed also allegedly did not receive their pending dues — salaries from previous months, provident fund (PF), Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) and gratuity.

In 2012-13, Manasa Natural Private that manufactured Martin incense sticks closed down leaving 363 workers unemployed. Their dues are still pending, the report says.

On November 14, 2011, when the Gobinda Implex factory shut down, 550 workers were left unemployed in a single blow. They are still waiting for their unpaid salaries, PF, gratuity among other dues. Just the gratuity for each worker is supposed to be from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.

In 2014-15 the Sriram Rathi company closed down without clearing its employees’ dues. It reportedly left 500 workers jobless. In 2018, the Times Fero factory shuttered its gates. More than 400 workers were employed there, as per reports.

Ganashakti further reported that around Rs 200 was being deducted from the salary of each contractual worker at Mejia Thermal Power plant in Bankura district. Allegations have been levelled against Trinamool Congress goons. The workers fear that if they protest, their jobs might be snatched away.

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The person-in-charge at the power station is reportedly being replaced at regular intervals. Thousands of rupees in salaries are due and forgotten every time the person-in-charge is replaced. The contractual workers don’t get ESI, gratuity, house rent allowance, pension.

The newspaper also reported that Gangajolghati block farmers have been suffering because of the pollution generated by the Mejia thermal plant. Ash from the plant poisoned fertile farmland in Nityanandapur village, Maliara village and vast stretches of soil in the Ghutgoria village panchayat.

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