AAP government announces door to door registration for construction workers in Delhi

Source: ANI

The decision comes after the Delhi High Court slammed the government for inaction on previous orders.

Komal Gupta:

The registration of construction workers in the national capital will now be done through door-step delivery as announced by the Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. The workers can call the helpline number ‘1076’ to make a request for registration starting today.

The decision has come after the Delhi High Court directed the state government to implement its orders pertaining to the membership renewal and registration of construction workers in the city, where lakhs of them are employed.

The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced in April this year that nearly 35,000 construction workers received financial assistance of  Rs 5,000 provided to registered workers due to the Covid-19 lockdown. However, the bench consisting of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar observed that only a small section of workers are registered under the laws regulating their welfare and employment conditions.

The bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation by social activist Sunil Kumar Aledia, seeking registration of all construction workers in the national capital under the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Act, 1996, so that they can avail the relief package of Rs 5,000 per month provided to each laborer during the lockdown.

The BOCW Act mandates that the cess collected from construction companies is to be directed to the welfare of construction workers registered under it. It ensures the welfare of these workers and their families.

However, the data released by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in February last year shows that only about 35 million of the 50 million construction workers are registered under the BOCW Act across the country. There is no updated information on the number of active registrations.

Delhi had 5,39,421 registered workers as on 31.03.2020, out of which only 1,28,394 were active, according to the state website. The number of migrant and local construction workers is not clear as it is not captured by any system.

Read more on the BOCW Act here

During the hearing, it was also observed that the Delhi government had yet not acted upon the several orders passed in the previous hearing on the matter. “We hope and expect that our orders are being implemented before the next date,” the bench said.