Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Labour organisation raises key concerns


PUNE: The Bandhkam Mazdoor Sabha, a body of workers in construction and unorganised sector, has raised concerns about the absence of an independent machinery to monitor apt implementation of provisions under the Maharashtra Building and Other Construction Workers Act and Rules at sites across the city.

"The situation is more worrisome in places like Pune where construction activity continues to grow by leaps and bounds. A large section of workers engaged in this sector not only work in unsafe settings, but they also live in poor conditions at labour camps," Nitin Pawar, general secretary of the organization, said.

Mazdoor Sabha took up these issues with the additional labour commissioner during a protest in the wake of the October 17 accident at the under-construction Seya housing project on Sinhagad Road. Three workers had fallen to their deaths when the support structure for an 11th floor slab caved in.

Pawar said, "Following some relentless effort by the Mazdoor Sabha and the Supreme Court directives, the Maharashtra Building and Other Construction Workers Act and the Rules came into effect in the state. The enactment deals with details with the measures for the workers' living conditions, safety at work and related issues. These measures have been made mandatory for the builders to implement at under-construction sites and also provide for heavy penalties in case of violation."

However, what has come as a surprise during the protest by the construction workers was the fact that no independent machinery was in place to implement the rules, he said. "Officials at the labour commissioner's office said they have been saddled with additional responsibility of implementing the rules," he added.

Mazdoor Sabha president Mohan Wadekar, vice-president Haji Nadaaf and other officer-bearers gave a representation to the labour commissioner, raising demands relating to better living conditions at project sites, implementation of enactment and rules for workers' safety and steps to curb accidents at construction sites.


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