Relief for sand miner victims’ relatives

KATHMANDU: Duwakot sand mine operators today agreed to provide Rs 525,000 as relief to the kin of each worker buried alive on Wednesday.

Five miners, including a woman, were killed when the illegally operated sand mine they were digging at Banskota Danda of Duwakot- 6 in Bhaktapur caved in. “Talks between the mine operators and the victims’ kin held in District Administration Office reached a consensus to end the mining row peacefully. The mine operators have agreed to provide Rs 525,000 for each death,” informed SP Pushpa Chandra Ranjit, in charge of Metropolitan Police Range Bhaktapur.

The talks were held in the presence of Ranjit, CDO Deepak Raj Nepali, LDO and representatives of All Nepal Construction Workers’ Union.

The victims’ kin received an immediate relief of Rs 50,000 to perform the last rites of the bodies lying at TU Teaching Hospital in Maharajgunj. Inspector Prakash Ranabhat said mine operators Jeevan Kumar Malla and Saroj Thapa had also agreed to pay for the treatment of the injured.

The deceased were Krishna Prasad Phuyal (34), Rohit Kumar Ghimire aka Sunkhari Ghimire (29) of Dolkha, Dawa Sherpa (45) and Phurba Tamang (28) of Ramechhap and Chanchali Maya Thing (30) of Kavre. While, the injured — Ashmita Lama (26) of Bhaktapur and Ram Bahadur Bantawa (44) and Devi Maya Lama (26) of Kavre — are undergoing treatment in the district hospital.

The talks between the mine operators and the victims’ kin had ended inconclusively as the latter demanded Rs 1 million for each death. The mishap has largely been attributed to the lack of safety standards and negligence on part of the employers.