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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Mamata compensating accident victims from construction workers’ welfare funds: Adhikari


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Kolkata: West Bengal leader of opposition in the state assembly Suvendu Adhikari on Wednesday alleged that the state government was paying compensation to the Odisha train accident victims from the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board (BOCWWB) funds.

He accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of snatching the funds meant for the welfare of building and other construction workers, in he bid to pose as a philanthropist on stage “for photo ops”.

He alleged that Banerjee did the same to compensate victims of the Bogtui massacre in Birbhum district last year. Ashikari claimed Banerjee had then she used the students’ Mid Day Meal funds to pay the compensation. Ten people had been burnt to death in Bogui on March 22, 2022, after the murder of a ruling Trinamool Congress leader.

He said the central government enacted the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, 1996 to provide for levy and collection of a cess on the cost of construction incurred by employers with a view to augmenting the resources of the welfare board for workers of the sector.

The board uses the fund for providing social security and welfare schemes relating to life and disability cover, health and maternity cover for such registered workers.

Adhikari appealed to the state government to compensate the victims from the state Emergency Relief Fund and the CM’s Relief Fund.

“Why are they time and again unethically diverting the funds meant for others? I believe this act of the Bengal government would result in depriving lakhs of building and other construction workers of Bengal,” he said.

Adhikari said the Chief Minister could have waited for some more time before directing her administration to make arrangements for the grief stricken victims’ kins to travel from the remote places of Rural Bengal to Kolkata for collecting the compensation amount.

“It hasn’t been a week since the tragedy happened. Many bodies are yet to be identified. Many people are in hospitals receiving treatment for grievous injuries. The Bengal government could have been more considerate before parading the distressed relatives on stage,” he said.

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