THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The recent incident here in which four construction workers were buried alive has spurred the Labour Department into action. In state-wide raids conducted over the last two days, the department issued stop-memos on construction activities at eight building sites.
Three of the construction sites are in Kollam, two in Thrissur and one each in Alappuzha, Palakkad and Ernakulam, the department said.
A number of builders have been issued show-cause notices while detailed inspection has been called for at several other sites. The raids, conducted at 82 sites, found migrant labourers comprised majority of the workforce.
Labour officers have unearthed rampant violation of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, and Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996. Other irregularities which have come to light, include absence of muster rolls and wage register, denial of wage slip to the labourers, inadequate toilet facilities and poor accommodation.
At several building sites, labour officers were greeted by the sight of labourers being crammed into poorly-ventilated shacks. Many of the establishments lacked registration or licence. Labourers were not issued safety helmets or boots. Also missing were safety nets and railings on the stairways.
The raids were conducted following a directive from Labour Commissioner K Biju on the orders of Labour Minister T P Ramakrishnan. As many as 14 labour officers and 101 assistant labour officers took part in the drive.