India’s construction industry is the country’s second largest employer and contributor to economic activity, after agriculture. According to government estimates, it grew by 80 per cent in the last four years, from $78 billion in 2013 to approximately $140 billion this year.
But there is a darker side to this explosive growth. For all the big money involved, the sector has scant regard for the safety of those who work in its lowest rungs. Every year, hundreds of the men and women workers either fall to their deaths, or are electrocuted, or are buried under rubble.
Total of 1,092 deaths and 377 workers injured between 2013 and 2016. The biggest reasons for deaths were- 60% was fall from a height. A quarter of all workers died from the collapse of a wall, or of the whole building. 15% died due to electrocution.
Real Life Examples of on The Site Injuries & Deaths of Workers
- Deaths happened at the construction of Mumbai airport for two consecutive years (2013 and 2014), which killed total nine workers.
- In December last year, as the foundation of the building was being dug, loose mud collapsed and three workers were buried under it.
- Eight labourers from Odisha were injured after an under-construction three-storey building partially collapsed in a tech park in Whitefield.
- In October 2016, a five-storey building collapsed in Bellandur, killing six labourers and injuring many. Investigations revealed that the property owner had violated the sanctioned plan — which was for ground-plus-two floors – and built additional floors. Though the plot area is 1,900 sqft, the built-up area was 4,300 sqft. The soil-bearing capacity was not tested properly to start with. Even when raising columns for the top floors, building code norms were not followed, according to BBMP officials.
Written by Riya Goswami