Govt plans to conduct survey on all migrant workers in Tamil Nadu
As per the first survey conducted in 2015-16, Tamil Nadu had 10.2 lakh migrant workers from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and northeastern region.
CHENNAI: The labour department of Tamil Nadu has decided to conduct an extensive survey on both interstate migrant (ISM) workers and intrastate construction workers in the state. According to official estimates, the total number of ISM and intrastate construction workers in TN is 67.74 lakh.
As per the first survey conducted in 2015-16, Tamil Nadu had 10.2 lakh migrant workers from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and northeastern region. A statistical survey on migrant workers released by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) last April, however, estimated the number to be 34.87 lakh.
“While records are available on workers employed in construction work, factories, textile mills, schools, colleges, and in hospitality sector, no such record exists for those employed in grocery stores, tea shops, and eateries,” an officer said.
Two databases will be created for each district based on the survey. While the first one will cover both migrant construction workers and local workers engaged in construction works listed in the Tamil Nadu manual workers welfare scheme 1994, the second database will be for migrant workers employed in sectors like textiles, hospitality, and shops, excluding construction industry.
‘Survey will be used to make policy decisions’
Institutions that employ five or more migrant workers and move from place to place must get licence under the Interstate Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Act, 1979. As of June 30, about eight lakh such migrant workers are registered in the state.
Tenders have been issued to select an agency for conducting the survey which will focus on individual migrants and migrants with families and children who have left their families behind and come to Tamil Nadu. The survey aims to evaluate the overall condition and background of both migrant workers and construction workers in the state, the tender document said.
“Details such as nature of accommodation, health facilities, types of jobs, food security, and living standards of workers will be collected along with their bank details and Aadhaar number. The data will be used for making policy decisions to ensure the welfare and social security of migrant labourers,” the official said.
As of June 15, 10.4 lakh workers in Tamil Nadu have registered on e-Shram, the union government’s portal for unorganised workers. About 22.47 lakh workers have registered with the Tamil Nadu Construction Workers Welfare Board.