Enumerate, enrol unregistered workers, HC directs government

The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the State to enumerate and enrol labourers who had failed to register with the various welfare boards meant for them.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

Chennai

Disposing of a batch of writ petitions, a division bench comprising Justice MM Sundresh and Justice R Hemalatha directed the enumeration for long-term use, noting that it had become imperative due to the pandemic and the need to provide relief to such workers.
The bench added that it was necessary that the workers enrolled as members should be made to pay their contribution without fail not only to enable them avail the various benefits but also to inculcate a sense of belonging to the profession as well as.
The bench was passing orders on a batch of pleas moved by various associations including Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam, All India Construction Works Unorganised Workers Welfare Union, Tamil Nadu Makkal Thozhilalar Sangam and Tamil Nadu Salai Pokkuvaruthu Thozhilalargal Sammalenam.
Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam had sought a direction to the government to accord similar benefits provided to registered workers due to the pandemic to even those who have not registered with the Tamil Nadu Construction Workers’ Welfare Board, and also the registered workers who have not renewed their registration. The plea had also sought to enhance the financial assistance to Rs 5,000 per month for the duration of the lockdown.
The other pleas sought relief to all unorganised manual workers belonging to the transport sector, including drivers operating call-taxi, van, lorry, mini lorry, small goods, transport vehicles, share auto etc., to provide them relief without insisting on membership and to take immediate steps to enrol all manual workers within a specified time.
However, the government had contended that the workers who failed to register with the welfare boards or renew it once in five years would not be eligible for its COVID-19 relief.

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