Workers found living in squalid conditions
The inspection of construction sites by civic authorities to ensure proper living conditions for migrant construction workers in the city began on Tuesday.
Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany and Health Standing Committee chairman T.K. Ashraf inspected two construction sites at Marine Drive along with councillors and health officials. Most of the workers engaged by the builders were found living in squalid conditions. Some of them were housed in makeshift facilities built under the bridges in the city, said Mr. Ashraf.
At one site, 60 workers were provided with just three toilets. The outlets of these toilets were opened to a nearby drain.
The workers had to stay inside the building that was under construction. The floor of the building was overflowing with waste water, he said.
Inspection held at another site revealed that the workers were forced to stay inside the space below the Goshree bridges where one could not stand straight.
Some of the toilets constructed for the workers were in dilapidated condition. All the toilets opened to the Kochi backwaters, it was found.
Of the 400 workers engaged by these builders, 350 were migrant workers. These companies would be issued notice to stop the construction. Legal action will also be initiated against them for failing to provide the basic facilities to the workers, Mr. Ashraf said.
The Health Inspectors of the Kochi Corporation has been asked to report on the condition of migrant workers employed in different parts of the city.
The corporation will take all possible measures for protecting the workers. The crackdown would continue in the coming days, he said.
Paloli Muhammad Kutty, Minister for Local Self Government, will launch the State-wide pre-monsoon cleanliness drive at Kochi on Thursday. Mr. Chammany will preside.