Construction workers complain at government’s apathy towards their on-site working and living conditions.
Labourers lament the deplorable conditions at their living place with no urinals or clean drinking water provision as Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai kick-started thePublic Works Department’s state government officers’ quarters project in Vasanth Nagar. Workers living in tin sheds complain about the lack of basic necessities.
The project engineer and an official from Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) said that they have provided quarters for the workers. “These workers are just temporary and after the work begins we will provide the permanent ones with everything that they require. As for now we have provided them quarters to live.”
Prashant, a labourer on the site said that they have to use public bathrooms and sometimes openly defecate. “They have provided us these tin sheds in the name of quarters. I don’t know if these look like quarters to anyone.”
Another labourer Rohit said that they weren’t hired on temporary basis. “We are going to build these quarters from the scratch to end. That’s what they have told us. Nobody told us that we are temporary.”
Prashant said that they have been here less than a week and they can foresee how the whole time at work is going to be. “I hope they pay heed to our demands. We are asking for bare minimum.”
He also mentioned that a team of more workers are going to join them soon to start the construction shortly after the construction.“We are 10 men stuffed in one tin shed right now and four live in the adjacent shed.”
Mohini Singla, a lawyer, said that the labour laws of India make it mandatory for all the employers to provide basic amenities like sanitation, clean drinking water and clean living spaces for all the workers. “Any violation could lead to penalties and imprisonment of up to three years or more.”
The Rs. 117 crore project will have two towers with 24 and 48 flats respectively. Chief Minister Bommai in the presence of chief secretary of Karnataka, C.S Ravikumar, inaugurated the foundation of the project today at Vasanth Nagar.
Apart from the new staff quarters, Vasanth nagar has already another building assigned as quarters for the PWD officials. These quarters were in news last year due to residents complaining about the garbage dumping around the premises. The residents had accused the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahangar Palike (BBMP) of not taking note of the matter.
The same PWD quarters reported a fire accident in 2021 in which no casualties were reported.
The public works department majorly constructs buildings, bridges and roads. The department constructs and maintains all the government buildings including the residential and commercial buildings along with the government hostels.