Construction companies asked to give civic facilities to labour

October 6th, 2008 - 8:11 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) Construction companies will now have to provide housing for labourers within the site with all necessary infrastructure and facilities such as fuel for cooking, mobile toilets, drinking water, health care and creches.The government Monday said since the construction sector is witnessing a huge growth and a large workforce is employed, it has become incumbent for the industry to implement these facilities for workers while getting environmental clearance for development projects.

“The housing may be in the form of temporary structures to be removed after the completion of the project,” said a release from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Given the fact that the construction sector is witnessing a huge growth and engagement of large number of labour has become necessary, it is felt this provision is necessary to ensure that the construction labour get access to basic facilities and services.”

Recent studies have shown that the construction industry is one of India’s largest employers, and is growing at a rate of 15 percent a year.

However, work sites are often dangerous.

India has the world’s highest accident rate among construction workers, according to a recent study by the International Labour Organisation that cited one survey by a local aid group showing that 165 out of every 1,000 workers are injured on the job.

According to a study last year by Mobile Creches, a nonprofit group that provides day care and schooling for an estimated 1,800 children at 24 construction sites in New Delhi about 70 percent of children at such sites suffer from malnutrition, compared with the national average of 21 percent.

It also pointed out that in the absence of clean drinking water and flush latrines, cholera and other diseases spread quickly and many people suffer hacking coughs caused by inhaled paint fumes and cement particles.

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