The state government is planning to provide bicycles to building and construction workers. The purpose is to make it easier for them to commute to and from construction sites, which are sometimes located far from cities.
Labour officials unavailability of easy conveyance is one of the biggest challenges facing such workers. Due to the lack of good transportation facilities, many construction workers arrive late at work. “This leads to increase in workload and stress, and reduces their productivity at the site,” said a labour official.
“In the first phase, we plan to provide 3.5 lakh cycles to building and construction workers across Maharashtra at an estimated cost of Rs 151 crore,” said another official, adding that the proposal had been pending for a long time but the decision was taken recently.
The labour department has floated tenders to appoint an agency to provide the bicycles, but the contractor will be finalised after the code of conduct is over, the official said. “The agency will prepare smart cards that will be distributed to workers with the cycles, as we don’t have manpower for it. The cards are to ensure that the actual beneficiaries are getting benefits,” said the official.
There are approximately 26 lakh construction workers in the state of which at least 12.5 lakh are registered with the Labour Department.