CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the State to undertake an extensive survey to identify, register and enlist all unorganised manual workers to ensure that they benefit from various government schemes. The court also directed the State to ensure that, those who utilise the services of these workers, contribute to welfare boards constituted for them.
A division bench of Justice MM Sundresh and Justice R Hemalatha, however, refused to direct the government to extend cash assistance that is now provided to members of construction workers welfare board, to all unregistered unorganised workers. “Any relief if given to the petitioners will adversely impact the registered members, apart from making all the schemes virtually impossible to be given effect to,” observed the judges.
“We find that the unregistered, unorganised workers cannot be left in the lurch. We are dealing with illiterates and semi-literate persons. The state government itself has stated that efforts were made for registration/enumeration,” the judges said. Disposing of the pleas, the High Court made it clear that the entire enumeration exercise requires to be completed by the state within 12 weeks.