Decentralise labour welfare board, says Nitin Pawar, after wall collapse incidents in Pune
Construction labourers are the second highest number in the country after agricultural sector. It is our demand to give them safety, he saysUpdated: Jul 04, 2019, 16:58 IST
Nitin Pawar is fighting for the rights of labourers working in the organised and unorganised sectors in the state and mainly in Pune. After the Kondhwa wall collapse incident, he is sitting on a strike in front of the district collectorate. The activist shares the issues faced by labourers.
Two wall collapse incidents happened in the city in a week claiming the lives of 21 labourers. Do you think construction labourers are not safe in city and state?
Pune has become the capital of accidents involving construction labourers. Only major incidents like the recent two get published, the rest go unnoticed. An average of 100 labour related accidents takes place in the city every year.
State government formed a board for labour welfare and safety. Do you think it is working properly?
Construction labourers are the second highest number in the country after agricultural sector. It was our demand to give them safety. The law was passed in 1997 and rules were framed in 2007. The state government formed the welfare board for construction workers, but it is not working effectively.
The reasons for the board not working effectively
We are fighting for Mathadi act for potters working in Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC). It is working effectively as it is decentralised. Construction workers’ board is working as a central body and it does not have district-level offices. The labour officers are handling the business of this board. Even the labour officer do have adequate manpower. Our demand is to decentralise the board and make it effective.
The workers welfare board has enough funds, but they are not getting spent on workers?
That is another issue. There is no political will to do something for these poor people. Despite having enough funds, the board is unable to reach out to the workers. They are living in bad condition in need of basic amenities like toilets and living place. The government should change the policies and need to change their mindset towards the workers in organised and unorganised sectors.