Addressing the gathering on Monday, the union leaders said that there were 50 lakh construction workers in the State and many of them died while they were working.

Construction workers under the aegis of Krishna District Building Workers’ Union staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Labour Commissioner’s office at Patamata on Bandar Road here demanding that the State Government should extend pension, health insurance and other welfare benefits to them.

Addressing the gathering on Monday, the union leaders said that there were 50 lakh construction workers in the State and many of them died while they were working. The deceased families were leading miserable lives as the Government was not implementing the welfare schemes properly.

The Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996, specified that the Government should extend pension, family health scheme and scholarships to children of construction workers, housing loans, financial assistance for purchasing necessary equipment, and unemployment allowance etc. The Government, however, had failed in extending these facilities to the construction workers, they said. The workers were obtaining loans at exorbitant interest rates for purchasing the tools and equipment. As the works were available for only five to six months, the workers were facing hardships in repaying the loans. The Government was supposed to pay unemployment allowance to meet their daily requirements.

The demands include hiking of ex-gratia to Rs. 5 lakh from Rs. 2 lakh for accidental deaths and to Rs. 2 lakh from existing Rs. 30,000 for natural deaths and refund of Rs. 458 crore diverted by the State Government to Welfare Board immediately.

Building Workers’ Union State President P. Narasimha Rao, city general secretary G. Achaiah, president Sk. Miravali, east zone-2 secretary T. Buchi Babu, rural mandal secretary Sivaji, treasurer Appa Rao and others were present.

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