The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Delhi Government to inform it by next Wednesday by what time it would be able to ensure the minimum mandatory working conditions at the Commonwealth Games sites here for workers working there.
A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta issued the directive to Government when petitioners in the matter submitted before the Court that immediately at least the minimum compulsory requirements for these workers like sanitation, habitable shelters, medical treatment, safety, payment of the minimum wages and registration of their names could be provided.
The petitioners, People’s Union for Democratic Rights and others, in a fresh application said that since the workers would most probably leave the Games sites by September as the work was supposed to be over by that time, they should be paid the minimum wages through cheques and issued wage slips and identity cards.
A four-member committee had last month informed the Court that construction workers at the Games sites were not getting proper wages and working in unsafe and unhygienic conditions.
In a report, the committee said though it was not confirmed whether all workers were getting minimum wages as the muster rolls were not verified, the system for payment of wages prevailing at the work sites were found to be prone to abuse.
The workers seemed unaware of the relevant law and rules which makes their plight more vulnerable, the report said
In many cases workers were found not receiving overtime wages at all, and those who were paid were paid at the rate of ordinary wages for the day against the statutory provision of double the rate of ordinary wages, the report stated.
In a large number of cases there was no weekly off for them and they were employed on daily wages and received payment for the days they actually worked.
The report had also indicted the regulators concerned for their failure to ensure compliance of the labour laws and rules.
The High Court had appointed the committee on a public interest litigation by PUDR and others alleging exploitation of workers at the Commonwealth construction sites.