The Delhi High Court on Wednesday warned the Delhi Government against ignoring the rights of the labourers involved in Commonwealth Games projects in their hurry to meet the deadline.
“You are in so much hurry. We are not finding fault with you. But do not forget the rights of the labourers,” said a Bench headed by the Chief Justice ordering appointment of a four-member committee to look into their welfare.
It will comprise a former UN Ambassador Arundhati Ghosh, the labour commissioner, labour secretary and a person associated with the NHRC.
The court was hearing a PIL on the plight of 17,000 labourers working day and night in rough weather to make Delhi a world-class city before the Games.
Basing its finding on two surveys, it said the labourers were working and living in highly deplorable conditions.
They earn lower than the stipulated wage and have no access to even the most basic sanitation and health facilities. They were not registered and without proper identity cards.
The court has directed a meeting of the committee on February 8.
Senior lawyer and human rights activist Colin Gonsalves appearing for the NGO told the Bench that the plight of the 1982 Asiad workers were also the same till the Supreme Court intervened on the same NGO’s petition and ordered improvement of their condition and increase wages.
Alleging that the Minimum Wages Act was being violated, he contended that while it was Rs 151 in Delhi, most of the workers at Commonwealth Games site was being given between Rs 100 and 114 and they were also not being paid for overtime
The PIL claimed that workers were not being provided proper safety equipment.