Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. (ANI)
Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. (ANI)

Sisodia opens mega registration drive for over 1 million construction workers

Delhi has 262 major labour chowks where workers assemble daily in search of work.
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 23, 2021 02:51 AM IST

A mega registration drive, to enroll construction workers so that they are able to avail of government assistance, was launched on Monday by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the labour portfolio.

The minister said out of Delhi’s approximately 1 million construction workers, only 0.13 million (13%) are currently registered with the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, and the registration drive is to enable more workers to get the financial assistance provided by the Delhi government.

The drive that will be held till March 22 at 45 sites across the city, Sisodia said.

Addressing a digital press conference, he said the government aims to register around 0.8 million construction workers in a month and clarified that other workers -- electricians, plumbers and carpenters -- will also be brought under the Board, which offers financial assistance under various schemes, including pension, education, maternity and marriage.

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“Construction workers are the backbone of the nation. The Delhi government is committed to ensure their dignity and welfare. Registration camps will be organised at 45 sites across the city, which includes 29 government schools and 16 major construction sites. Mobile units would be deployed to all 11 districts of Delhi and they will move around different construction sites so that workers do not have to forego their daily wage to register themselves,” Sisodia said.

Delhi has 262 major labour chowks where workers assemble daily in search of work. As part of its awareness campaign, the government, in a statement, said it will put up hoardings, posters and distribute handbills to encourage labourers to get themselves registered at the nearest registration camp. These camps will operate from 9am to 5pm till March 22 and all documentation -- be it new registration, renewal or verification -- will be offered at these sites, the statement read.

This is not the first time that the Delhi government is organising such a camp for construction workers. A similar camp was launched last August, but it received a tepid response and the Delhi government was pulled up by a city court for not spreading awareness about its enrolment drive.

“There are one million construction workers in Delhi of whom only 0.13 million workers are registered with Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board till date. Around 80,000 workers are in the process of getting registered. I appeal to the residents of Delhi to assist the construction workers and spread awareness about the mega registration drive so that maximum workers are able to avail of benefits,” Sisodia said.

Construction workers can also get themselves registered using the Delhi government’s doorstep delivery service. They need to call 1076 and the personnel from the labour department will visit their homes to register them, he said.

The Delhi government has a number of schemes for those registered with the Board. Workers can get 3-5 lakh for the construction of a house, 30,000 as maternity benefit, 20,000 as loan for the purchase of work-related tools and 5,000 as grant for the purchase of work-related tools. Other than these, the registered workers’ family gets assistance of 1 lakh in case of a natural death of the worker, and 2 lakh in case of accidental death. They can also avail of 1 lakh in case of permanent disability and a disability pension of 3,000 a month.

Under the education scheme, registered workers can avail of benefits between 500 and 10,000 a month for school education and higher education of their children. In other schemes, the workers can get 35,000-51,000 as financial assistance for the marriage of children, and 3,000 a month as pension.

So far, the Delhi government has distributed cheques totalling 3.18 crore to 488 construction workers in the month of February. Also, the Delhi government has provided an aid of 10,000 each to 1,139 workers during the pandemic, a government spokesperson said.

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