Labourers? lament: Official apathy turning Peshawar's rock business into marble orchard

Each day wage labourers are paid Rs200 for chopping 100ft of marble. Photograph: Geo Information

PESHAWAR: Sturdy buildings fabricated from marble have a tendency to know consideration instantaneously. Nevertheless, the shiny look of the stone tends to deflect consideration from the grueling realities of the marble business.

Through the years, the business has misplaced its intrigue and paired with authorities’s apathy the marble business, it appears, is nearing its finish.

These employed within the business declare a myriad of issues is hampering the progress of the business together with lack of electrical energy, broken equipment, underpaid labour, lack of know-how and no correct drainage system in factories.

Geo Information visited the Marble Industrial Property — which was established greater than 20 years in the past on Warsak Street — to uncover the issues haunting the business.

A meagre inhabitants of lower than 300 labourers is employed at Peshawar’s Marble Industrial Property. Photograph: Geo Information

A meagre inhabitants of lower than 300 labourers reside and dealing on the property, which not solely produces marble for Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but additionally different components of Pakistan.

Marble Industrial Property Peshawar Vice President Fateh Khan Kundi defined that the variety of factories within the space is rising day-by-day however there is only one electrical energy feeder. Steady low voltage and tripping issues have a tendency to wreck equipment and delay manufacturing course of.

He additional stated the Peshawar Electrical Provide Firm ought to present additional feeders to the commercial property, including that factories are billed about Rs0.three to Rs0.four million each month.

Then again, Marble Industrial Property Common Secretary Himmat Shah shared concerning the menace of working with outdated know-how. “Since we’re utilizing worn out equipment, we are able to’t produce marble to worldwide requirements. Because of low high quality, we are able to’t export marble to different nations.”

Peshawar’s Marble Industrial Property, situated on Warsak Street, was established almost 20 years in the past. Photograph: Geo Information

Shah demanded the federal government present the property with loans to buy trendy equipment on lease system in order that the business might be upgraded.

He defined that the transportation of marble is one other problem as uncooked stone is procured from completely different websites in Mohmand Company, Khyber Company, and Buner district. “Whereas transporting uncooked stone, no route is given to us by site visitors police and different safety companies. This creates additional issues for industrialists,” he added.

Whereas chopping stones, labourers use water which after turning dry turns into white powder, stated the proprietor of a marble manufacturing unit, Imran Patwar. The powder can be utilized in vessels factories, building sector and likewise in numerous medicines. Nevertheless, having no correct system renders a giant quantity of this powder ineffective, added Patwar.

A lifetime of onerous labour

The employees employed within the marble business work nearly 10 hours a day on naked minimal wages but their onerous work goes unnoticed.

Bakhtiar Khan, who has been working as a labourer for the reason that final 22 years within the industrial property, remarked that he has injured himself numerous occasions nonetheless there is no such thing as a therapy facility close by.

Manufacturing facility house owners level out that there are not any correct drainage services on the marble factories. Photograph: Geo Information                        

“The federal government or manufacturing unit house owners present us no aid. We now have no medical health insurance. Throughout work, I’ve injured myself a number of occasions however no compensation has been given to me.”

Apart from low wages, mounted labourers, who earn Rs12,000 a month, and every day employees, who make Rs200 for chopping 100 toes of marble, proceed to work with none safety precautions. Most labourers shouldn’t have correct gloves to put on whereas chopping marble.

Furthermore, there are not any instructional institutes, residential colonies or hospitals for the labourers or their households.

Peshawar’s industrial property not solely produces marble for Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but additionally different components of Pakistan. Photograph: Geo Information

One other labourer, Akhter Khan, stated, “Our youngsters want faculties, we want properties and hospital services too. There are not any authorities instructional institutes or hospitals in our factories zone.”

Whereas Minerals Growth Division KP is operating a number of tasks within the province, no undertaking has been undertaken to supply aid to the labourers at Peshawar’s Marble Industrial Property, in line with official information.

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