Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed the labour department to reach out to over 13 lakh construction workers of the city and offer them free bus passes after proper verification and registration with the relevant welfare board.
The Kejriwal government in May 2022 had announced free travel for registered construction workers in public buses. The move was aimed at benefiting over 10 lakh people.
Charing a high-level review meeting on various ongoing projects of the labour department, Kejriwal directed it to reach out to over 13 lakh construction workers in Delhi and offer them free bus passes after proper registration and verification with the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board, according to an official statement.
The chief minister also directed the department to assess the possibility of getting group life insurance for construction workers, similar to that provided for lawyers, it said.
Kejriwal also said the labour department should make “positive and effective use of the funds” so that all the registered workers can get the full benefit of the city government’s policies. He urged the officials to speed up the registration of workers under various schemes to extend maximum support to the labour force.
“Registration of 13.4 lakh workers with the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board will be renewed this month onwards,” the chief minister was quoted as saying in the statement.
The review meeting was also attended by Delhi Labour Minister Raaj Kumar Anand and senior officials of various departments.
As many as 13.4 lakh workers are registered with the Board. These workers will be up for renewal in April. Out of this around 5.36 lakh are present at work in the state at any given point in time, the statement said.
“Can we take out some ‘carpet bombing’ scheme where everyone is benefited? For example, during COVID-19, all workers were benefitted regardless of whether they applied or not. Such measures will help extend the maximum benefit of our schemes,” Kejriwal said.
While reviewing labour pension schemes, the chief minister recommended to the department to identify those who are 60 years and above and those who have been engaged in construction work.
Such people should be identified and made beneficiaries of the better schemes available, he said and asked the department to work on certain modalities to ensure that the pension scheme covers as many beneficiaries as possible and also ensure that “no duplicacy” takes place therein.
Kejriwal also directed officers to explore the possibility of providing subsidised housing to workers registered with the Board. He directed the department to make disability-related schemes more accessible and practical.
While discussing travel benefits extended by the labour department, the chief minister directed the officers to explore the possibility of providing each worker with a free bus pass. He asked the officials to discuss with the DTC, whether the government can pay a standard charge for these passes on behalf of the workers.
The chief minister also directed the department to work on a scheme along the lines of the Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana, where children of construction workers can avail free coaching.
(With PTI inputs)