Bhubaneswar, July 31 (LocalWire): The Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), a non-profit organisation working for the development of urban poor, organised a public hearing on the issues and challenges faced by the construction workers on Tuesday here.
The public hearing was organised at BudhaMandir in the city was attended by over 50 construction workers from three project settlements areas, KargilBasti, Kelasahi and Palaspalli.
During the event, CFAR project coordinator Rosalin Pattnaik also shared the finding of the study conducted by the organisation to assess the status of implementation of the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Act and Cess (BOCWWC) Act, l996.
“We did random sampling of 140 persons in our three project settlements areas and found that only 101 persons had registered themselves under the BOCWWC Act,” she informed, adding that, of the registered construction workers, only 64 construction workers or 63.36% had renewed their Labour Cards, while only 16 (11.42%) had benefitted from the Cycle and Safety Security schemes under the Act.”
Highlighting the ignorance about the Act and its benefits as the major reason behind the poor renewal rate of labour cards, Pattnaik also pointed out that the construction workers also give up due to frustration after repeated attempts and failure to get their cards renewed despite spending money.
She also hinted at the unwanted role that middleman play in getting renewal and benefits under the Act.
Over 15 testimonies were presented by aggrieved construction workers during the hearing and Jury members shared their views and suggestions.
The officials and members of the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board assured the gathering that the issues raised at the public hearing will be resolved in a time-bound manner.
Over 94% of workers in India are engaged in the un-orgainsed sector and construction workers constitute the major section of it.
The BOCWWC Act was enacted in 1996 by the central government for the betterment of the construction workers.
“In Odisha, the rules under the Act were framed in 2002 and registration under it was formally started in 2009 causing delay of almost 13 years.
The Government of Odisha claims to have registered about 25 lakh construction workers under the Act,” a CFAR press release stated.
The Act provides a number of cash benefits and assistance to the registered workers and its family members, including assistance in case of accident, disability and death benefits, medical benefits, educational assistance for kids, maternity benefit to women workers, assistance for purchase of working tools, bicycle, and safety equipment, besides stipend for skill development training.