new york manhole covers, forged barefoot in india
8,000 miles from Manhattan, barefoot, red shir, whip-
The Thin Man is forging the bland pieces of the city puzzle: the manhole cover.
The workers of one of the many foundries in West Bengal do not seem to be affected by metal heat, they rely on strength and hands, not machines.
There is little evidence of security measures;
In a recent visit, only a few pairs of goggles were seen in use.
Shakti Industries at Foundry Haora produce manhole covers for Con Edison and the Department of Environmental Protection in New York City, as well as departments in New Orleans and Syracuse.
This scene is both spectacular and out of place: Flames, sweat and liquid iron are mixed in smoke, just like things in the Middle Ages.
This is the interest of a photographer who often works for the New York Times --
In fact, the image of heat emission shows the place where the New York manhole cover was born.
When the officer of Con Edison
It bought about 2,750 of the manhole covers from India --
The photographer showed them the pictures and they said they were surprised.
The ad \"We were disturbed by these photos,\" said Michael S \".
Clendowski, director of media relations with Con Edison.
\"We attach great importance to the safety of workers,\" he said . \"
The company says it is now rewriting international contracts to include security requirements.
He said the contract will now require overseas manufacturers to \"take appropriate action to provide a safe and healthy workplace\" and follow the Indian local and federal guidelinesClendenin said.
Ads, Street grilles, manhole covers and other castings of Shakti are scattered in dusty yards.
Inside, men in sandals and shorts carry baskets of coke and iron ore up the stairs to the feeding room of the stove.
On the first floor, others, usually unshoes, were stripped of their waist, waiting with a large bucket, ready to grab the molten metal pouring out of the stove.
There are a few women working, but most of the heavy objects seem to be left to men.
During a visit in September, the temperature outside the factory exceeded 100 degrees.
A few feet away from the metal dump, this place feels like an oven with workers sweating.
Normally, sparks are ejected from a molten metal tank.
On one occasion, they lit the lungi of a worker, a common men\'s dress in India.
He quickly, instinctively, rubbed the burning cloth by hand on the rest of the fabric, doused the flame, and then continued to push the metal cart to the nearby mold.
After the metal is solidified and cooled, the worker takes the manhole cover casting from the mold, and then at the last step of the production process, grind and polish the rough edges.
Finally, these people folded the lid together and fixed it with bolts for shipment.
Sunil Modi, director of Shakti Industries, said: \"We can\'t maintain European and American luxury with all the boots and everything else . \".
However, he said there had never been an accident at the foundry.
He is worried about the attention of people, about the cancellation of contracts and the loss of jobs.
Most of the manhole covers of The New York City Department of Environmental Protection come from India.
When asked in an email
Regarding the Mail information from the ministry\'s cover source, Mark Daley, communications director of the city\'s administrative services department, said that state law requires the city to purchase the lowest
Price products that meet their specifications. Mr.
Daley said that the law prohibits the city from excluding the company according to the place of manufacture of the product.
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Municipalities and utilities often purchase manhole covers through middlemen who have signed contracts with foreign foundries;
New York City buys sewer covers through a company in Flushing, Queens.
Con Edison said it did not intend to cancel any contract with Shakti after seeing the photos, although it had gradually canceled India-
Due to the change of design specifications, it has been several years since the manhole cover was manufactured.
Alfred Spada said that manhole covers made in India can be 20 to 60% cheaper than those made in the United States, editors and publishers of modern foundry magazines, and speakers of the American Foundry Association.
Indian foundry workers are paid a few dollars a day, while American foundry workers are paid about $25 an hour.
People who make manhole covers in New York City seem to be proud of their work and are happy to be photographed doing so.
Production Manager of Shakti industrial plant.
Ahmed was very enthusiastic about the photographer\'s visit and had a full tour of the facilities, stopping to measure the temperature of the molten metal
About 1,400 degrees Celsius, or more than 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
India\'s 1948 plant safety law deals with cleaning, ventilation, waste disposal, overtime pay and fresh drinking water, but the only protective equipment it provides for is safety goggles. Mr.
Modi said his factory is in compliance with basic safety regulations and workers should not be barefoot.
\"It must be a very hot day when taking pictures,\" he said . \".
Some Labor activists in India say the number of injured is much higher than the number shown in the data.
\"Many accidents have not been reported,\" H said . \"
Deputy Secretary-General of the General Assembly, Mahadevan --
Trade union conference in India.
In general, advertising security \"is not considered a serious problem by the employer or the Union \".
Added Mahadevan. A. K.
Ananda, director of the Indian foundry workers Institute in New Delhi, India trade association, said in a telephone interview that foundry workers \"should not work barefoot,\" but he cannot answer questions about what safety equipment they should wear.
At the Shakti industrial foundry, \"There has never been an accident. Period,” Mr. Modi said.
\"Everything is good according to God\'s will.
Heather Timmons from New Delhi and J.
Adam hagkins from Hala, India
A version of the article appears on the print on page A1 of the New York edition, titled: New York manhole covers, forged barefoot in India, sweating.
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