CHENNAI: There seems to be little welfare on the agenda of the Tamil Nadu Construction Workers Welfare Board list. According to it, no worker has died or got injured at construction sites in Chennai since 2008, and it has not disbursed two-thirds of the fund it collected as cess. The National Crime Records Bureau statistics, meanwhile, show that 17 people were killed in building collapses in Chennai in 2013.

In reply to an RTI application (given before the Moulivakkam accident last Saturday), the construction workers welfare board also shows that in 2011-12, the board collected Rs88.77 crore, but disbursed only Rs29.52 crore to workers. A total of 18.24 lakh construction workers are registered with the board. The Union labour ministry statistics show that Tamil Nadu disbursed only Rs277.9 5 crore (46%) though it collected Rs604.31 crore as cess from builders as on September 30, 2013. In contrast, Kerala had disbursed Rs 728.84 crore to the workers of the Rs 808.82crore collected as cess.

According to the Tamil Nadu Manual Workers (Regulation of Employment and conditions of work) Act 1982, 1% of the estimated value of the construction has to be collected as cess from builders and contractors through civic bodies. The board was collecting 0.3% of the estimated value of the construction as cess since July 1987, and it increased it to 1% from December 2013. Read more