Gurugram: Just 8% of construction workers out of nearly one lakh workers received financial aidUpdated: Jul 09, 2020 23:56 IST
Just about 8 percent of construction workers in the city registered with the district labour department have received monthly financial aid of ₹4,500—announced by the state government in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown—during the last three months, revealed an RTI reply.
Only 7,720 construction workers out of 96, 593 workers registered with the labour department have received the monthly aid in April, May and June, the Gurugram labour department said in a reply issued on July 3 to an RTI (right to information) request filed by a city-based activist.
The aid was paid to the workers by Haryana Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, an agency which works under the aegis of the state labour department.
District labour department officials, meanwhile, said that the criteria for paying the aid to workers was finalised by the welfare board in Chandigarh and the relief money is being paid to only those workers who fulfil the eligibility criteria.
“Registration of workers with the labour department alone does not mean that everyone is eligible for the financial aid, and also only one person in a family is entitled to the aid,” said Ramesh Singh, additional deputy director, industrial safety and health, labour department, Gurugram. The reason that less number of workers were paid relief is that a large number of registered workers don’t renew their registrations, and many have not paid their yearly registration fees, the official said.
On March 23, the Haryana government had announced that workers registered with welfare board, but not registered under Mukhyamantri Parivar Samriddhi Yojana (MMPSY), would be provided with a sum of ₹4,500 per month from March 30 directly into their bank accounts.
Across the state, around 3.5 lakh workers were benefitted by the scheme out of the 8.68 lakh workers that are registered with the department through the labour department portal, the reply said.
Aseem Takyar, a city-based RTI activist, who had filed the RTI said that nearly one lakh construction workers are registered in Gurugram but relief has been given only to few. “The government must find out the reason for such low numbers and ensure more people get relief in the city,” he said.
“Majority of workers who were found eligible for relief in Gurugram have received it already,” said RS Malik, deputy director, industrial safety and health, labour department, Gurugram.
Trade union leaders, meanwhile, said that city construction workers were going through a very bad time as many of them had lost their daily wage jobs amid the lockdown. “Only a small minority has been able to get financial relief from the government and most of the construction workers are suffering due to lack of any financial and material help. Most of the migrant workers have gone home with whatever money they had and others are stuck here with little resources,” said Rajender Saroha, general secretary, Bhawan Nirman Kaamgar Union, Gurugram.
As per trade union leaders around 2 lakh construction workers have left Gurugram for their home towns and very few have shown interest in returning despite the state government’s recent announcement on paying ₹1,500 as transport fare to construction workers who return to Haryana.
Deepkamal Saharan, media coordinator, deputy chief minister Haryana Dushyant Chautala, said that the number of workers who have got financial relief in Gurugram as per the RTI figures is quite less. “The government will certainly look into this matter and find out the reasons for such low numbers which seem far behind the state average,” he said.