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‘Bring construction workers under welfare board'

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Karnataka State Construction Workers' Central Union has urged the State Government to ensure that construction workers deployed for public projects are registered with the Karnataka Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, president of the union N.P. Sami said the workers would receive compensation and benefits in case of accidents on the site if they are registered with the board.

Mr. Sami alleged that accidents occur on work sites as construction companies do not take precautions for workers' safety. “The government departments and its agencies such as Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and Bangalore Development Authority, are not exempted. In many cases, they do not adhere to the safety norms as laid down in The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996,” he charged.

According to the Act, construction companies (both private and government) should remit a cess of 1 per cent of the cost (projects cost exceeding Rs. 10 lakh) to the welfare board. “However, cess remittance is not to the expected level. We want the government to direct its departments/construction companies concerned to remit the cess strictly.”

Stressing on the need of setting up a monitoring body to ensure workers' safety, Mr. Sami said the Government should set up a safety council to supervise safety aspects adopted by the construction companies/departments. Union general secretary C. Palani Kumar said that of over 12 lakh construction workers across the State, only 1.06 lakh were registered with the board.

“The Government should conduct a survey of workers and ensure all are brought under the board.”

The union will hold a State-level convention of construction workers on August 9 at the Town Hall here, which will be inaugurated by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Labour Minister B.N. Bache Gowda.

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