HC pulls up CWG mgmt committee for labourers` work conditions
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday told the city government and public authorities including the Commonwealth Games Management Committee to identify the construction workers who were deprived of their basic rights.
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday told
the city government and public authorities including the
Commonwealth Games Management Committee to identify the
construction workers who were deprived of their basic rights.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed it
to provide them passbook/identity card and ensure that the
minimum wages are paid.
The directives were also issued to MCD, DDA, Central
Public Works Department (CPWD) and Delhi International Airport
"All authorities involved or covered by a committee
appointed by this court make possible measures to identify and
register the construction workers who were deprived of their
rights and benefits," said the bench also comprising justice
Madan B Lokur.
It further directed them to initiate a mechanism, as
their statutory, to create awareness about rights and benefits
of construction workers and the education scheme to be
implemented for their children apart from providing medical,
maternity and health benefits to the workers.
The bench`s directions came while hearing a PIL filed
by Peoples` Union For Democratic Rights (PUDR), an NGO,
alleging the workers at the Commonwealth Games Sites were
working under inhuman conditions and they were not given
even the minimum wage.
The NGO sought the court`s direction to ensure the
workers also get insurance cover, wage slips, paid weekly
offs, proper medical facilities and workmen compensation,
among other basic benefits.
Estimating the daily wage contract workers to be nearly
4,15,000 the PIL said the Games-related construction work was
given to private contractors who provided inhuman working and
living conditions for the labourers.
The bench appointed a committee which visited various
sites where the construction workers have been employed by the
contractors and filed a report.
According to the committee, the workers at the Games`
construction sites were not being paid minimum wages and were
being made to work overtime for no extra money.
Recommending "exemplary fine" be levied on errant
authorities, the report said steps needed to be taken to start
time bound registration of workers and extending to them
benefits like weekly offs and hygienic living conditions.
The committee also found that labourers were being
exploited since they were hired by contractors `unaware` of
labour laws. It said many accidents at these sites were
never reported while workers continued to work without safety
gear. It also said muster rolls were not verified and that
abuse of migrant workers was common.
The committee comprised Arundhati Ghose, former
representative to the UN, NHRC`s L N Mishra and labour
commissioner and labour secretary of Delhi government.