Delhi HC directs State govt to renew registrations of labourers falling under eligible category

News Live tv | May 21, 2020
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the State government to renew the registrations of around five lakh labourers, who falls under the eligible category as they can get relief during the COVID-19 lockdown.
A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar asked the Delhi government to renew the registrations of the construction workers who fall under the eligibility criteria under the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Act.

The bench has asked the Delhi government to send SMS to the over five lakh workers reminding them for registration. However, the detailed order will be made available later.
The court was hearing a petition filed by activist Sunil Kumar Aledia seeking to provide relief and all mandated benefits to workers and migrant labourers.

Appearing for social worker Aledia, lawyer Shiven Varma has sought a direction to concerned authorities to provide relief to workers and labourers and all mandated benefits be provided to them including those who were previously registered in the last two years but have not renewed their membership under the BOCW act.

The plea has sought a direction to concerned authorities to ensure that all workers falling under the scope of the Act who is currently hosted at DUSIB shelter homes and emergency Shelter homes, Labour camps and construction sites are promptly registered under the BOCW Act. The plea has sought an order directing the respondents and concerned authorities to ensure that all the construction workers whose names have been filed by construction companies and employers with the Labour Department are promptly registered as beneficiaries under the BOCW Act.

The plea has also sought a direction to the DSLSA to set up programs and camps to ensure that all eligible construction workers employed in the state of Delhi are registered as beneficiaries under the building act.

Highlighting that due to the lack of responsibility taken by employers, governments and concerned departments alike, these workers are not just left to fend for themselves but are also deprived of the mandated benefits of crores of funds collected in their name, the petitioner said that “the fate of non-registration for welfare schemes has been faced by labourers and workers for far too long, and is particularly inflated by the Covid-19 lockdown.”

“It is a stark reality of Delhi that despite infrastructure projects being taken up by huge companies (including those arising out of lucrative government contracts for government buildings), these poor, uneducated and unaware workers have been left to fend for themselves. Neither the Delhi Government nor the companies/contractors have come forward to facilitate and/or ensure their registration as beneficiaries under said welfare and beneficial Act,” the petition stated.

Aledia, in his petition, has expressed concern with the violation of the right to equality and work, of the workers, whose right to the social welfare schemes and benefits mandated by the Building and other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act (BOCW Act) and the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act is being violated due to the violation of the provisions of the Act, as well as non-implementation of its provisions.

“Most construction workers of Delhi are not registered as construction workers, thus depriving them not only of monitoring on whether wages are being paid to them as per the guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, by their principal employers but also all benefits of the welfare schemes under the BOCW Act including the direct bank transfer relief provided by the government for construction workers,” the petition said.

The lack of implementation of these acts is particularly and greatly highlighted in the city of Delhi by the extraordinary emergent situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s undeniably appalling attendant and consequent effects. There are an estimated more than 10 lakh construction workers who work in Delhi, the petition said. (ANI)

Extensive amendment to forest law will dehumanise forests

Down To Earth | Ishan Kukreti | April 18, 2019

As 300 million forest dwellers across India heaved a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court stayed its own order to evict encroachers on February 28 this year, the Union government was sharpening its axe with a new amendment to the Indian Forest Act (IFA), 1927. On March 7, a document marked “secret” landed on the desks of forest chiefs in all states. It was sent by Noyal Thomas, India’s Inspector General of Forests (forest policy), and it contained a proposal to replace IFA, the colonial Act. For the first time, a calculated move was being made to dismantle the community-driven forest governance and strengthen the hands of the forest bureaucracy. Read more

Tribal sub plans fail under Modi regime; Adivasis deprived of benefits in last five years

National Herald | Krishna Jha/IPA | April 16, 2019

Among the objectives of the Tribal Sub Plan has been to look after the basic needs of the tribals. The records show that the money was spent, but never to serve the needs of the targeted masses

Each of government plan has its own tragic story. One burning example is Tribal Sub Plan (TSP). Brain child of Planning Commission, it became Scheduled Tribe Component as the Planning Commission became NITI Ayog.  Read more

SC notice to Centre, Odisha on plea to cancel 358 mining leases

Odisha Sun Times | April 17, 2019

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from the Centre, Odisha, Karnataka and the CBI on a PIL seeking cancellation of 358 iron ore mining leases which were allocated or their duration extended without any fresh evaluation and adopting the due auction process.

Also seeking response on the plea for quashing of Section 8A of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, the bench of Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer appointed senior counsel P.S. Narasimha as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter.

The PIL says that the Section 8A of the MMDR Act, 1957, which provides for grant of a mining lease for minerals other than coal, lignite and atomic minerals, is “illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional”. Read more

Government has taken steps to ensure central funds reach poor: Narendra Modi

Money Control | April 16, 2019

PM Modi’s statement was a counter to the recent claim by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik that the Centre has no sympathy for the farmers of the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 16 said his government has taken measures to weed out Congress-aided middlemen to ensure that the entire central funds percolate down to the poor. He also announced a slew of measures for the welfare of farmers and fishermen, if the BJP was voted to power.

Mounting a blistering attack on the Congress, Modi accused it of being a silent spectator to the loot of public money besides being embroiled in multiple controversies and scams before the BJP-led government put brakes on these corrupt practices. “During the Congress era, only 15 paise of a rupee would reach the poor and the rest was swindled by unscrupulous elements. No one bothered to stop it. Now, we have ensured that central funds reach the poor,” Modi said, addressing a rally here in western Odisha. Read more

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