Expressing concern over the plight of labourers working in Commonwealth Games sites in the capital, the Delhi High Court Wednesday stressed that their rights must be protected.
A report on the condition of labourers at Commonwealth Games sites was submitted Wednesday by a high-level committee appointed by the court after it visited sites over a period of one month.
Reacting to the report, a division bench of acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta said: ‘Rights of these persons should be protected.’
The committee has recommended exemplary fine on errant authorities.
The court had Jan 27 ordered that the five-member committee comprising former UN Ambassador Arundhati Ghosh, the labour commissioner and labour secretary conduct inspections at various Commonwealth Games sites, acting on a public interest petition filed by NGO People’s Union For Democratic Rights.
‘The labourers were working and living in highly dangerous and deplorable conditions. They earn lower than the stipulated wage and have no access to even the most basic sanitation and health facilities and were not provided safety equipment,’ the petition states.
The committee substantiated the complaints in the petition.
The report also mentioned that minimum wages were not being paid in many cases and most of the labourers were not being given additional money for doing extra time.
The committee also recommended the registration of workers and extending all benefits to the labourers working at these sites.
The panel also said that many accidents at construction sites were never reported while workers continued to work sans any safety gear