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Ensure minimum wages to Games workers, orders high court


New Delhi: Expressing concern over the plight of workers at Commonwealth Games construction sites in the capital, the Delhi High Court Wednesday told the government to ensure that they get the minimum wages.

The observation came on the report filed by a court-appointed committee which said that the rights of labourers were being violated at the construction sites.

Reacting to the report, a division bench of acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta said: “Rights of these persons should be protected. At least try giving them the minimum wages.”

The court on Jan 27 ordered the five-member committee, including former United Nations ambassador Arundhati Ghosh, the labour commissioner and the labour secretary, to conduct inspections at Commonwealth Games sites.

The court had ordered the inspection on a public interest petition filed by non-government organisation People’s Union For Democratic Rights.

Counsel for state Nazmi Waziri said that the authorities were issuing identity cards to the labourers. He also said that they were giving wide publicity to the drive on issuing identity cards and will soon start giving radio jingles on the same.

The court asked the government to give details of these measures in an affidavit.

“The labourers are working and living in highly dangerous and deplorable conditions. They get less than the minimum stipulated wage and have no access to basic sanitation and health facilities and safety equipment,” the petition stated.

The committee had also substantiated the complaints in the petition.

The report said the labourers were not being given additional money for working extra time.