Odisha to invest Rs.40 crores in rental housing for construction workers

BHUBANESWAR: In its bid to solve the problems faced by construction workers in getting rental accommodation at places of their work, the Government has placed Rs.40 crore with Odisha Urban Housing Mission (OUHM) for establishing rental housing complex in 10 cities of the State.

The rental housing complexes will come up at Rourkela, Angul, Paradip, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Vyasanagar, Berhampur and Jharsuguda and help accommodate migrant construction workers.

The housing complexes will be 100-bed in capacity in the five municipal corporations and 50 beds in the rest. Principal Secretary to Labour and Employees State Insurance Department G Mathivathanan has already asked the Collectors, Municipal Commissioners and Executive Officers to identify the required number of land patches for executing the project, Chairman of Odisha Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board (OBCWWB) Subash Singh told mediapersons here on Sunday.

So far, 19 patches of land have been identified by the Collectors and civic bodies and feasibility reports prepared. To speed up the implementation, Central and State PSUs will be entrusted the work.

While rental housing complex would, to an extent, help the migrant workers, the Labour and ESI Department has brought about some significant changes in the norms to bring all unregistered construction workers under the ambit of registration process and therefore, under coverage of welfare schemes.

It has made registration of all workers engaged in Government and private building construction mandatory. Government authorities taking up construction works have to ensure registration directly or through contractors as per Section 7 of Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996. Similarly, all workers engaged will also have to be registered under Section 12 of the Act.

The Government has asked the tender inviting authorities to make it a part of the clause and contract agreement. During payments of running bills, registration would be verified and violation would result in non-payment.

Similarly, local building authorities have been asked to add it as a condition in sanction order failing which Commencement Certificate would not be issued. The Government has also vested the power with all engineers of the departments to carry out registration of construction workers.

Singh said the Government has also extended the registration renewal validity from one year to three years so that those going outside do not face any problem. Currently, 17.76 lakh construction workers are registered while 11,732 of them are migrant in nature.

The authority to collect cess has also been vested with all assistant engineers to widen the base. So far, the OBCWWB has collected Rs.1088.68 crore towards welfare fund. From the Government sector, Rs.1010 crore has been mobilised while cess from private sector stands at Rs.77 crore.

Credits The New Indian Express

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