Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has stepped up the campaign to register construction workers on a war footing. Sisodia conducted a surprise inspection of the South District Construction Board Labour Office at Pushp Vihar this morning.

He was accompanied by other officials including Department Secretary Alice Vaz and Secretary of the Construction Board. Sisodia tried to understand the reasons for the delay in the process and the difficulties faced by the workers who were standing in the queues.

Expressing his displeasure over the various flaws found during the inspection, Sisodia said that not complying with the instructions given in the past is a serious matter of concern. He said that the Delhi Government will not tolerate any carelessness or excuses when it comes to the welfare of the Delhi workers.

Sisodia asked the officials to make such a system of registration that ensures no poor labourer is forced to pay a bribe to anyone nor faces any difficulty in travelling to government offices every day.

He said that it is estimated that there will be one million construction labourers in Delhi. “It is our priority to register each and every single labourer and ensure they are provided with the benefits of these welfare schemes,” he said. For this, apart from the officers of the board, the help of the labour department and other departments will also be taken.

During the surprise inspection, Sisodia directed to issue a show-cause notice against the Deputy Secretary absent in the office. The Deputy Chief Minister also directed the department’s officers to resolve all the pending issues in the next 24 hours.

Sisodia had taken over the charge of the Labour and Employment Department last week and had directed to complete the registration and verification of construction workers immediately after meeting with the concerned officials.

Sisodia reached Pushp Vihar Centre at 10.45 am today and spoke to the workers standing in queues to check out the process.

The workers said that they reached the office at 4 am in the morning and had been queuing since then. The queues included workers such as labourers who had come to file their application for registration, renewal and verification of their documents. Sisodia also came to know that due to lack of proper knowledge of the process of registration of workers, they often fell prey to the brokers and middlemen.

During the inspection, several flaws and blocks in the system were unearthed. Sisodia immediately ordered the officials to correct them. He was also surprised to find that not even a single application was processed in the first hour of the office being open to the public.

He said that no negligence will be tolerated in providing benefits of welfare schemes to the city construction workers. In this matter, strict actions will be taken against whoever is found guilty. Additionally, he ordered the registration, verification and renewal process to be fast-tracked with immediate effect.

During his conversation with the people present in the queues, Sisodia found out that the workers had to stand in the line for 6-7 hours and it affected their work as they had to come to the office regularly to finish their documentation. Sisodia also directed to install CCTVs in and around the office so that middlemen could be identified.

The Deputy CM assured the workers that they would streamline the entire process in a phased manner so that all the workers would register themselves in the next week.

During this time, the Deputy Chief Minister also expressed his displeasure at the non-adherence of social distancing in the queues. The workers thanked the deputy CM for his surprise inspections and for listening to their problems.