They may be building the infrastructure that will help Delhi hold Commonwealth Games in October, but the safety of construction workers at sites seems to be of least importance.
Construction workers have been working at Games venues without the requisite helmets and reflective safety gear. The workers labouring to complete the roof of the wrestling stadium in the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium Complex have been working without helmets and safety belts. The labourers working on the streetscaping projects on roadsides, also, do not wear any safety gear.
Shashi Saxena, an activist from civil liberties organisation — Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), alleged that the labourers working at Games sites are being exploited and are grossly under protected. “At Khalsa College as well, labourers working at a height do not wear safety gear. At other places, the contractors charge money to provide protective gear despite the fact they are supposed to arrange it for free,” she said.
“The condition of the labourers in CWG related projects is very grim. They have no security gear,” said Miloon Kothari, coordinator, Housing and Land Rights Network
The authorities, however, said they have clauses that outline security norms for labourers in the tenders for contractors.
“The provisions are there and our supervisors are deployed at various sites to see that the norms are followed,” said Chandrabhushan Upadhyay, spokesperson, Central Public Works Department (CPWD). CPWD is responsible for the construction and renovation of the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium.
New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) officials claimed that wearing fluorescent safety gear is not necessary during the day time. “Our engineers maintain that wearing such gear during the day time is not necessary for those working on the streets,” said Anand Tewari, spokesperson, NDMC.