Reacting to news of fatalities at various construction sites in the State over the past couple of days, labour minister S.T. Chellapandian on Thursday, said, steps would be taken to safeguard the life of migrant workers in Tamil Nadu.

The minister said, at present, there was no official data about the number or movement of migrant workers in the State. Many labourers from other States are engaged by contractors for various construction activities. Once the project is completed, they return to their native place.

With the death of 10 workers at a construction site in an educational institution in Kancheepuram district, the government has taken serious view of the lack of safety to their lives and decided to streamline the migrant labour sector, the minister said.

The State government has directed the authorities concerned to take action against those responsible for the wall-collapse at Kancheepuram on Monday.

When asked if the government had information on individuals or organizations involved in manpower supply, labour commissioner B. Chandramohan said, there was no legal provision to insist that such persons or agencies register themselves with the labour department.

Speaking at a function organised to distribute welfare assistance to workers of unorganized sectors, Mr. Chellapandian said the State government would ensure that benefits of welfare schemes, implemented by 17 welfare boards for different unorganized sectors, reached deserving individuals directly.

The financial assistance would be deposited in beneficiaries’ bank accounts directly and not be disbursed through third-party organizations or individuals, he said.

Later, when Mr. Chandramohan took the dais to talk about the benefits of various schemes implemented for the welfare of the unorganized sector, a group of people belonging to Periyar Puratchi Veerargal Padai (PPVP) protested. A member of the outfit said there had been rampant corruption in construction workers’ welfare board since the past six years and urged Chief Minister to initiate action against those responsible.

Later, when contacted, president of PPVP, Veeralakshmi, said the outfit did not hold any grudge against the present government. “We just wanted to attract the attention of the authorities towards corrupt practices of some welfare board officials,” she said.

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