Home / News / India /  Jharkhand on course to sign MoU with Border Roads Organisation to ensure the welfare of workers

In a first of its kind move, chief minister Hemant Soren led Jharkhand is on course to sign a rare Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to ensure the welfare of workers for all future recruitments by the latter from the state.

The development came in the backdrop of the state government giving its go ahead to BRO for recruiting 11,800 workers for critical projects including those near the China Border in Ladakh. It comes as India is looking to speed up some infrastructure projects along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) border given tensions with China over the construction of a link road near the LAC and another on the banks of the Pangong Tso Lake.

The move is significant because it puts a spotlight on state governments taking steps for ensuring welfare of labourers many of whom are migrants. The focus on the issue also comes at a time when the country is facing an unprecedented challenge with lakhs of migrant workers returning to home states, including Jharkhand, owing to the nearly two month long lockdown put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

“National security is our top priority & simultaneously we accord equal priority to ensure honour, wages and rights of our workers are guaranteed while serving the nation in border areas. We look fwd to cooperation from @DefenceMinIndia & @rajnathsingh'ji to ensure compliance," Soren said in a tweet on Monday sharing a letter sent by state’s labour department to director general of Border Roads.

According to people aware of developments, the MoU could come into force from next year. The MoU will look at providing ways to have a formal system where in welfare of workers, benefits provided and care taken are kept as top priorities.

The Border Roads Organisation did not comment on the matter.

A person familiar with the developments in New Delhi said the MoU with the Jharkhand state government was likely to be signed next year. This was the first of its kind, the person added.

Citing sources in the chief minister’s office (CMO), a news report by Press Trust of India from Ranchi said that the BRO has conveyed to the Jharkhand government that it will sign the MoU once approval is given by the Ministry of Defence.

Meanwhile the state government has conveyed to BRO that the recruitment of the 11,800 workers in a letter dated Saturday said that the latter will have to apply under provisions of the Inter State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Act, 1979. Till the time submission of application for registration happens, the BRO can begin the process of recruitment district wise with Deputy Commissioners as nodal officers.

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