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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dist labour dept yet to have comprehensive figure of migrated labourers

Malda, 4 February, 2015: Though the death of migrated labourers from the district in other states is a regular phenomenon, the labour department of the district is not yet left with the number of such labourers. Non availability of the exact figure is being a hindrance for getting those labourers registered under different welfare schemes which may ensure post-death benefit for families of those migrant labourers.

It has been learnt from district administration and police sources that at least 20 migrated labourers from the district mostly engaged in construction in other states died in the current financial year. But families of 10 such deceased labourers have got compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh each from the district labour department. However, families of 97 other labourers who died naturally got compensation of Rs 50,000 each in the financial 2014-2015 (till 31 December, 2014).

Assistant labour commissioner (ALC) Debu Kar informed that so far 1, 13,104 labourers in Malda working in different spheres have been registered in the current financial year. 6,45, 682 labourers have been registered in total in the district so far. Mr Kar hoped that another 10,000 to 20,000 labourers would be brought under registration within 31 March.

“Approximately 2.73 lakh labourers like coolies, rickshaw-pullers etc, 18,000 transport labourers, 1.79 construction labourers and 1.73 lakh bidi-workers in the district are under registration,” Mr Kar said.

But he lamented that a comprehensive figure of labourers in the district could not be availed yet. “We are trying to get such a figure which would make our task of registering the unorganized labourers easier. In the meeting with the district administrative officials on Friday we would work on how such a figure from different blocks can be obtained at least approximately,” Mr Kar added.

He however informed that adequate amount has been spent for the education of the wards of the unorganized labourers, treatment of such labourers and offering bicycles to them and delivery of babies of women labourers.

General secretary of Congress affiliate INTUC Narendranath Tiwary said, “When Sabina Yeasmin was the minister of state of the labour department, several initiatives for the welfare of unorganized labourers were taken up. But now the state government is not that active. If the state government remains callous like this, we would soon meet the DM, Malda demanding the total figure of labourers in the district.”

CPI-M affiliate CITU district secretary Pranab Das said, “We tried to draw the notice of the state government in this regard several times. At the end of this month we would sit in for demonstration with the family members of the deceased migrated labourers demanding compensation for each of them.”

It may be mentioned bodies of five migrated labourers killed in an accident in Assam were brought to Malda on Monday night from Assam. Though minister Sabitri Mitra assured that families of those labourers would get compensation of Rs 2 lakh each, the relatives of those labourers are still in dark about their future. 

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