The Himachal Pradesh Communist Party of India (CPIM) has lambasted the state government for failing to resolve the more than a year-long labour dispute at the 450 MW Shongthong – Karcham Power project in Kinnaur District.

Member state secretariat Tikender Singh Panwar charged that despite High Court orders the state government has failed in resolving the labour dispute.

“It’s been more than a year, since the labourers have been protesting for their basic rights. The state government instead of resolving the issue has been sheltering the Patel Company that is involved in the construction of the hydel project, which is being developed by the Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPCL),” he charged.

He maintained that over 100 labourers had been arrested last year and are still languishing in various prisons of the state.

“The state government insensitive to the concerns of the labourers is sheltering the nexus between the Patel Company, HPCL and the local contractor lobby which is trying to prolong the dispute. They are responsible for non-implementation of labour laws,” he charged.

“Draconian and despotic approach are being adopted to crush the agitating labours. It is not a crime, if the labourers have been demanding for tribal allowance, tunnel allowance and other basic wages,” said Panwar.    

CPIM threatened that they would continue to support the labourers and the protest would assume a state wide stir, if the state government fails to intervene resolving the issue.