Kejriwal announces ₹5k compensation for all construction workers in DelhiUpdated: Mar 25, 2020 00:02 IST
New Delhi: Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced a compensation of ₹5,000 each for all construction workers in the Capital in an attempt to make up for loss of income for daily wage labourers who are among the worst hit by the lockdown announced in the wake of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
Kejriwal, who said there was no new Covid-19 case in Delhi in the last 40 hours (Sunday night to Tuesday afternoon), also set up a five-member committee of doctors to oversee Delhi’s preparedness in the event that the disease enters its dangerous community transmission phase, in which the source of infection of a large number of people is untraceable.
“These are tough times. In the current situation, when the entire country is under lockdown, we have decided to give ₹5,000 to every construction worker in Delhi so that they can pass this phase without having to look for food anywhere else. They are losing their daily wages because of all the restrictions in place,” Kejriwal said in a digital press conference.
Officials familiar with the details of the one-time disbursement said the compensation will be given to those registered with the Delhi Building And Other Construction Workers (BoCW) board.
“At present, there are around 4 lakh workers registered with the Delhi BoCW board, but that too is not an updated register. The amounts will be transferred directly to those whose accounts are linked with us. Most of the workers keep moving from city to city on the lookout for jobs. So, the amounts will disbursed only after due verification,” said a senior official who asked not to be named.
The government did not announce any specific monetary compensation package for the other daily wage earners in the Capital.
Thaneshwar Adigaur, secretary of Delhi Asangathit Nirman Mazdoor Union said, “We welcome the move and hope it is implemented soon. Our initial estimate is that the announcement will benefit at least 50,000 valid workers registered with the Board. We request the government to implement it at the earliest. The government should make an effort to ensure that the all the construction workers working with private firms and contractors also get the benefit.” He also demanded a survey to assess the number of daily wagers and labourers living in Delhi.
Kejriwal said the five-member committee of doctors -- headed by Dr SK Sarin, director of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) -- will recommend steps that need to be taken by the government in the community transmission stage of the pandemic.
“There have been no new Covid-19 cases in the last 40 hours in Delhi. As of now, Delhi is still at stage 2 of the virus spread. But, still, we have to be prepared for stage 3 and there should be adequate arrangements in place. The committee will tell us what steps need to be taken in this regard,” the CM said.
He urged people to contribute to the chief minister’s relief fund to ensure adequate arrangements, and added that the Delhi will put more night shelters in place in the city so that free meals are accessible to all homeless people and those in need.
Earlier, on Sunday, the Delhi government announced that every ration card holder will get 50% extra ration from the end of this month. It also doubled the pension for widows, differently abled, and the elderly for this month, which Kejriwal said will benefit 850,000 people.
“Earlier we had total 30 such positive cases and among them, many people are getting better and going home. Till now five people have survived and gone home. Right now we have only 23 positive cases in Delhi. But I want to tell you that though this is good news, there is no need to cheer yet because the number of cases can increase any time if we do not put proper restrictions or if you do not follow the restrictions. In Italy, in the last 24 hours, more than 600 people have died and in America, in the last 24 hours, more than 150 people have died,” Kejriwal said.