Shri Gopal Rai,
The Labour Minister,
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Subject: Non-disbursement of compensation amount in relation to an accident at AIIMS construction site on 9th March 2016
On 9th March 2016, an accident took place at the construction site of the new Mother and Child Ward at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in which two workers were killed and three were injured. In the accident, two workers- Islam Sheikh and Vinod Kumar- were killed and three workers- Ranjeet Basak, Vijay Kumar and Naseeb Yadav- were injured. While the criminal investigation against the contractor, the Ahluwalia Contracts India (Pvt) Ltd and the Principal Employer are underway, the compensation announced by the Delhi Govt. is yet to be disbursed.
The Delhi government had set up an enquiry committee headed by the Deputy Labour Commissioner (South) ((DLC (South)) which had announced compensation to the heirs of the deceased workers from cess funds of the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. The compensation amount was not mentioned in the report. In an RTI response sought by PUDR, the Board replied on 28 April 2016, I.D.No. 19/RTI/DBOCWWB/2015/706, that the Ahluwalia Company had not made available the bank details of the workers hence the amount had not been paid to them. Another RTI reply from Labour Dept, Delhi Govt. dated 23 June 2016, ID No. 162/S.O.Planning/RTI/16/834 mentioned that amount 2 lakhs can be given to the deceased under Delhi Rule 2002, rule no 278 and 10,000 to injured under rule no 280, which have not been given so far.
The families of the deceased workers and the injured workers have informed PUDR that they have personally visited the office of the Welfare Board and given their Bank account details. When PUDR contacted one of the employee at the Board, we were directed to the office of the Joint Labour Commissioner, South on the grounds that disbursement would be made through his office. After repeated visits to the JLC office, PUDR was finally able to locate the file related to compensation in his office. The JLC, however, informed us that the file has been placed in his office by mistake when it should have gone to the DLC office, South. PUDR was informed that sending the file to the DLC office, which is next door, would involve a process and any action related to compensation would be initiate thereafter.
PUDR would like to bring to your notice that earlier in relation to the disbursement of compensation amount by the DLC office, South, to the families of the deceased workers due under the Workmen Compensation Act, the families had not been informed by the office. The amount was claimed by the workers only after PUDR wrote letters to the workers informing them amount the compensation.
The unnecessary delay in disbursing compensation in the matter related to death and bureaucratic callousness in resolving the issue, only increases the trauma of the families and the injured workers. We, therefore urge your immediate attention in ensuring that no further delay is caused in the bureaucratic rigmarole and the compensation amount is disbursed immediately.
Cijo Joy and Anushka Singh
Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)