The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the state agencies to speed up the registration of workers at the Commonwealth Games construction sites.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Madan B. Lokur expressed concern when they came to know that only 400 workers of the 40,000 workers were registered till date.
“These people are neglected….they must be protected. There should be no kind of exploitation with these workers. The government agencies must adopt a positive approach,” the bench said.
According to a government report, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has 971 workers, who are not registered and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has 3,384 workers.
“Is the government also ensuring that the benefits these workers are entitled to, are actually given to them? Mere registering them would not hold any value,” the bench observed.
Responding to the query, Delhi government’s standing counsel Nazmi Waziri said: “We have issued large scale advertisements, workshops and jingles on radio for the awareness of the workers at the games site so that they can come and register themselves.”
The court said, “These methods are not accessible by these workers and there should be some innovative methods so that workers know about their rights and benefits.”
“It is evident from the report that there is enormous breach of labour laws, as a result of which poor workers suffer from agony and anguish,” the court said while directing the agencies to make certain measures to provide medical, maternity and death benefits to all the workers.
The court directed the government to file a compliance report by July 7.
The court had on Jan 27 ordered a five-member committee, including former UN ambassador Arundhati Ghosh, the labour commissioner and the labour secretary, to inspect Commonwealth Games sites.
The court had ordered the inspection on a public interest petition filed by non-government organisation People’s Union For Democratic Rights.