Maharashtra state to track labourers the smart card way
Cards will help workers benefit from the government's schemes in case of accidents, etc
After finding it difficult to gather information on labourers who fall victim to accidents etc, especially those working at construction sites, the Maharashtra state government plans on giving them smart cards to keep track of them, so they benefit from its 29 schemes.
Last month, in two separate incidents in Pune, 17 labourers working at under-construction sites died in the heavy rain. Labour Department officials found it difficult to find information about them when they wanted to give them government aid.
Following SC guidelines
In 2015 the Supreme Court had issued guidelines about gathering and maintaining the records of such labourers working in each state. These included labourers working on construction sites, roads, etc.
The Maharashtra Building and Other Construction Worker's Welfare Board, Mumbai, (MBOCWWB) which has been implementing the guidelines, will soon issue smart cards to such labourers with unique numbers on it. Prior registration is a must for this and the labourer must submit age proof as the cards will be given only to people between 18 to 60 years. The labourer must also give permanent residence proof, which can be done by giving a copy of the aadhaar card.
He or she must have worked at the site for more than 30 days and a certificate saying this must be procured from the contractor or builder. Another necessity is a bank passbook, as the benefits will be transferred only to bank accounts. The enrolment for the smart card is R1 annually. After enrolling themselves, the labourers will get the benefit of the government's 29 schemes such as medical facilities, insurance etc.
S C Shrirangam, secretary of the MBOCWWB said, "The supreme court has issued guidelines in this regard and our department has been trying to implement them. Most of the labourers who died in the Pune incidents were from Bihar. Finding the injured and the kin of victims and giving them benefits was tough. We will soon direct municipal corporations to ensure that builders and contractors get labourers enrolled for the benefits."
He added, "The bigger challenge is that such labourers migrate often. Still, in the past two years our department has successfully enrolled many. In 2017-18 around 3.55 lakh labourers were enrolled and in 2018-19 the number increased to 6.62 lakh."
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