ECoR takes action against contractor for exploiting labourers

Bhubaneswar: East Coast Railway (ECoR) has taken strict action against a contractor for not giving minimum wages to the deployed labourers.

The vigilance wing of East Coast Railway during an investigation found that the contractor was not providing minimum wages and taking back money after giving the wages.

The same contractor was keeping the ATM Cards of the labourers and was withdrawing part of the money after depositing the full salary in their Bank Account.

In a preventive Vigilance Check conducted by the Vigilance wing of East Coast Railway, it was found that the contractor was not paying the minimum wages to the contractual labourers and adequate number of labourers were not being deployed for cleaning. 

During the investigation, it is observed that the labourers engaged by the contractor for cleaning purpose were not being paid the minimum wages as per the Government stipulations and minimum wages Act. 

The contractor was paying salary to some of the contractual labourers through bank accounts. The same was being withdrawn immediately by the contractor.

It was also observed that machinery, as stipulated in the contract, was not properly deployed for cleaning of the working area/premises.

Vigilance Department of Railways advised the concerned officials to deduct the difference amount of actual wages paid to the labourers and minimum wages from the contractor’s bills and the same should be disbursed to the respective labourers.

It was also advised that non-payment of minimum wages to the labourers should be intimated to the concerned Central Labour commission.

Penalty for non-deployment of machinery and debarring the contractor for future participation in tendering for similar works were also advised.

After the check, officials realised Rupees 15.51 Lakhs from the contractor; Rupees 10.96 Lakhs towards non-payment of minimum wages and Rupees 4.55 Lakhs towards non-deployment of required machinery from the contractual bills. Further action to disburse the due amount to labourers is in process. 

This is an important case highlighting action in case of non-payment of stipulated amount under Minimum Wages Act.

Railways would be taking strict action in all such reported cases. For sharing such type of information, Railway Vigilance Helpline Number 8455885031 can be used by public for registering complaints, airing grievances and giving constructive suggestions.

Railways will file suitable criminal cases in case of such actions by contractors in future cases.