MP Binoy Viswam of the Communist Party of India (CPI) filed a notice under Rule 267 on Monday requesting that the upper house’s proceedings be halted so that the Himalayan ecosystem may be discussed.
The CPI MP stated in his notice that the matter needs to be discussed in the Rajya Sabha since it puts workers who are leading development projects in the Himalayan region in grave danger.
This occurred against the backdrop of the collapse of the Shilkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand, where 41 workers became trapped and were eventually rescued after a 17-hour day.
“It is learnt that Shilkyara tunnel incident is not an isolated one but bas occurred for over 30 times in the last 5 years underscoring the negligence of human safety. The lack of proper safety measures being followed including the lack of adequate insurance provided to these workers is a matter of grave significance and cannot be overlooked. The Himalayas are young and still evolving mountains with potential of great volatility,” Viswam said.
He further said that the climate of the entire South Asia is dependent on the Himalayas, and a risk to this region is a risk to the lifetime of the country.
“The House must consider this alarming situation with urgency and allow deliberation to secure the rights of these nation-builders and concerns of nature. In light of this, the business of the house must be suspended and this issue taken up for discussion,” he added.
On November 12, a section of the tunnel between 205 and 260 metres from the Silkyara side collapsed. 41 workers who were beyond the 260-metre mark were trapped, with their exit blocked.
After huge efforts by different rescue teams and 16 days of rescue operations, all 41 labourers were safely evacuated on November 28.
Notably, the government held an all-party meeting on Saturday for the smooth functioning of the session, which will have 15 sittings between December 4 and December 22.