Central Vista: HC asks CPWD to follow Workers Act guidelines

Central Vista: HC asks CPWD to follow Workers Act guidelines

The Delhi High Court (HC) has directed the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to follow the guidelines of the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Act in the Central Vista redevelopment project, also known as the Rajpath redevelopment project.

A petition filed by social worker Sunil Kumar Aledia has sought directions to all contractors and subcontractors of the Central Vista and Pragati Maidan redevelopment project to duly comply with their obligations under the BOCW Act and ensure that all relevant provisions regarding filing of returns, details of construction workers are duly filed by the contractors with the concerned authorities.

The Delhi HC issued a notice directing the agencies to follow the BOCW Act's norms and other rules concerning the rights of construction workers. According to the petitioner, between 5,000 and 6,000 construction workers are employed at the project.

In the same order, the Court also issued notice to India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) for the Pragati Maidan redevelopment project in regards to adherence to the BOCW Act. It has also directed the secretary of Delhi's labour department to convene a meeting with the CPWD, ITPO and the petitioners to resolve any other issues.

The Central Vista revamp is one of the biggest redevelopment projects taken in Lutyens' Delhi area around Rajpath. The project is aimed to revamp the area between Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate and convert North and South Blocks to publicly accessible museums by creating a new common Central Secretariat to house all ministries.

The Delhi government has been brought up by the court on many occasions in the past over lack of registration of construction workers with the BOCW Act, which makes them eligible for many welfare schemes and protects them from harassment by construction agencies, after which the government had even launched two special construction worker registration campaigns in Delhi.

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