Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
We have dealt in another chapter with the general subject of the health of the industrial worker and have made recommendations for the improvement of health administration by Governments and local authorities. It seems appropriate, however, to deal here with another form of health administration which is in force in two of the mining areas we have visited and which was evolved to meet their special needs. Owing to frequent outbreaks of cholera and small-pox among the mining populations and with the primary object of preventing these epidemic diseases, new sanitary authorities in the form of Boards of Health were constituted during 1916 and 1916 by the local Governments for the Asansol and Jharia mines areas. The membership of these Boards comprises officials, non-officials and representatives of the mineowners and royalty receivers. Both Boards have been remarkably successful in their main task. Not only have health organisations been built up to deal with the prevention of diseases, but medical arrangements have been improved, sanitation has been controlled and the question of housing of labour has also received considerable attention. The Jharia Mines Board, having more adequate powers, has perhaps made greater progress. In addition, the Jharia Water Board, specially constituted for the purpose, has been able to provide a large and permanent protected water-supply, which is now distributed over more than two-thirds of the area under its control. These are admirable achievements for which the mineowners must be given credit, the whole cost having been met from self-imposed cesses on owners and receivers of royalties.