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Binoy Viswam wrote to PM demanding generous insurance amounts for workers

The concerning developments from Uttarkashi district of Uttarkhand have worried

the entire country. Incident of the collapse of under-construction Silkyara-Barkot tunnel

and 41 workers being trapped inside have shook the nation. It’s been two-weeks since the

workers are trapped inside and reports suggest that it may take a few more days to

complete the rescue operation. These developments have brought to fore certain issues

worthy of consideration to prevent such a mishap and to deal with the situation justly.

The workers who are trapped inside for 14 days have all come from poor backgrounds

with little social security. Their poverty compels them to undertake jobs in such hazardous

and unsafe environments. The tunnel collapse fortunately did not claim any life otherwise

bread-winners of families would be cruelly snatched away. It’s our duty to protect our

workforce from any seen or unforeseen uncertainty in such a situation. Therefore, I urge

you to take immediate steps and impress upon all stakeholders and employers to

mandatorily ensure generous insurance amounts to workers in hazardous and dangerous


The second issue that has surfaced is the way of development in the fragile

Himalayan ecosystem. The Himalayas are young and still-evolving mountains with

potential of great volatility. The climate of entire sub-continent is dependent upon the

Himalayas and tempering with the natural balance can have disastrous consequences, as

was seen recently in the sinking town of Joshimath. In this context, development activities

should be undertaken only after careful study of the region and without harming nature. I

hope these issues concerning the lives of our workers and the Himalayan ecosystem will

find your attention.

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