The Karnataka State Construction Worker Unions' Co-ordination Committee has announced a statewide protest on July 12 against alleged misuse of funds in the Construction Workers’ Welfare Board and inadequate compensation during the COVID-19 related lockdown.
On July 7, the committee pointed out that despite a demand for announcing a relief package of ₹10,000, the Government announced a one-time package of ₹3,000, which is yet to reach more than half of the registered workers. "The board has not also agreed to provide ₹5 lakh for house construction, complete reimbursement of any medical expenses and ₹5 lakh relief to those who died due to COVID-19,” a note said, adding that this is despite a total cess amount of ₹10,000 crore accumulated in the board.
Expressing disappointment over distribution of groceries that came following nudge from courts, the committee said while the poor quality food kits were reported initially, what came as an unexpected development was the distribution of kits to MLAs and politicians.
“The kits were seen reaching many MLAs. This is not only unethical but also a violation of the court of law.”
Further, the release pointed out that there was rampant discrepancy in the accumulation of grocery kits from four designated organisations that saw buying of the kits at a rate of 30 to 40% higher than the original price that resulted in about ₹10 to ₹15 crore of illegal transaction.
The committee said: “Though the procurement of medical kits, tool kits, mobile clinics and calendars has already taken place, the workers are yet to get access to the same, which makes a clear case of corruption. The amount involved in updating software for which tender has been called for has led to many questions being raised.”