The Tribune: Patiala: Sunday, September 16, 2017.
The Deputy Secretary of the Punjab Public Works Department (Building & Roads) has issued directions to officials concerned to register construction workers under the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Act in their respective areas.
Notably, the Punjab Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board has authorised the Junior Engineers of the PWD to register construction workers and labourers to make them eligible for several benefits provided by the board. Meanwhile, the Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) of the department is entitled to register the contractor under Section 7 of the BOCW Act and the Executive Engineer (XEN) has been certified as an appellant authority for any complaint.
As per the Act, the contractor shall be levied cess at 1% of cost of the construction work, The cess is meant for the welfare of registered labourers under various schemes.
On March 7, 2014, the Principal Secretary of the Punjab Welfare Board had issued orders with the approval of Governor to all the concerned officials to verify the registration of contractor before making any payment.
Despite the instructions, the PWD has been lagging behind in the registration of labourers and contractors. Vijay Walia, a para legal volunteer, had complained to the department after obtaining information under RTI Act regarding the situation of the registration process.
Following the complaint, the Deputy Secretary, PWD, issued a letter to chief engineers of the department to strictly comply with the orders. The official also asked them to prepare a report pertaining to the registration process and called a review meeting on April 30.
In his letter, the Deputy Secretary has asked the department officials to speed up the registration process. Meanwhile, Vijay Walia said, “Around Rs 900 crore collected as construction cess is lying with the Punjab Welfare Board. To distribute the cess among construction workers, we will have to register them first.”