NHRC asks govt to ensure labourers welfare

The national human rights commissioner (NHRC) has asked the state government to ensure proper Implementation of the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, in the state as a large number of people belonging to the unorganized sector are totally deprived of the benefits stipulated under the act.

The NHRC took the step following the request of Pragatisila Sramik Manch (PSM), a Jharsuguda-based social organization working for the welfare of labourers, to intervene in the matter.

The organization accused the state government of violating Article 15(3), 39 (e) and (f) and Article 45 and 47 of the Constitution, which impose a primary responsibility on the state to ensure all needs of workers are met and their basic rights are fully protected.

“Due to non-implement of the act, a large number of workers, engaged in various building and construction works, do not get social security in the society. They are also deprived of health and education facilities to be available for them under the act,” said Rakhyakar, general secretary of PSM, Jharsuguda. Rakhyakar informed that under the act the workers and their families are also entitled to get compensation and monetary damages in case of any mishap or accident that leads to loss of wages.

Rakhyakar said the NHRC had heard his petition on November 29 this year and directed the state government to ensure implementation of the act in Odisha as soon as possible. “I hope the state government will take appropriate steps in this regard soon,” he said.

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