Published On : Sat, Jun 6th, 2015

Sri Jagdamba Construction Company, Koradi, found in embezzlement of Rs 5,31,97,560

Exploitation of workers of unorganized sector with gross violation of social justice:Provisions of Maharashtra Minimum Wages Act ignored

Nagpur: Despite tall claims and commitments made by government and its administrative machinery in respect of transparency and rooting out the social injustice, the stigma of utter failure in financial accountability is still on its haunt in some or other way in the day-to-day media sources. This stigma finds its reflection in the scandalous role of Sri Jagdamba Construction Company (SJCC), a petty contractor agency to Larsen & Tubro (L&T), a renowned construction company and the major contractor, engaged in the project extension work of 3×660 MW in Koradi power station.

Salient features of the alleged scandal are as follows:

In the aforesaid work, the SJCC is managed by Nandkishore Bawankule, who supplies labour-support to L&T in the project extension work of 3×660 MW. For past three-and-a-half years, he had supplied as many as 130 labourers (workers) to complete the assigned work by March 31, 2015.

Bawankule’s said company was bound by Maharashtra Government’s Minimum Wages Act, 1948 in the terms of its liability to pay the government-prescribed rates of daily-wages, overtime allowances, benefits of employees provident fund (EPF) and bonus, etc, to each one of 130 workers employed or supplied by him to L&T. But, he miserably failed to comply with the provisions of M S Minimum Wages Act, 1948, and underpaid the wages to his workers as against the rule-bound wage-payment formula of 3×660 MW workers.

Available details are given below:

Each one of 3×660 MW Koradi workers worked for 8 hours only and got Rs 429 as wage per day while SJCC workers (many of them called from the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, etc.) were paid Rs 279 as wage for 12 hours of working per day.

The workers were required to for 27 days a month. Similar underpayment was made to SJCC workers in respect of their overtime work too. SJCC workers were paid overtime wage on one clock-hour basis while 3×660 MW workers got the same on three clock-hours basis.

The SJCC failed to deposit its workers’ EPF subscriptions with the EPF office and also erred in paying the bonus due, violating the provisions of Minimum Wages Act.

As per details gathered, Bawankule’s SJCC workers, their three-and-a-half- year long duration of work, suffered a severe monetary loss and Nandkishore Bawankule allegedly mugged up Rs 5,31,97,560. Even their collective representations repeatedly made to the authorities concerned could not bear fruits in terms of getting monetary benefits, overdue.

Citizens are questioning whether the Guardian Minister of Nagpur district is in the know of this sort of social injustice and unpardonable exploitation of workers belonging to unorganized sector.

.. Rajeev Ranjan Khushwaha

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– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( rajeev.nagpurtoday@gmail.com )