[Answered] Analyze the role of migrant workers in India’s infrastructure development and discuss the challenges they face, as highlighted by the Uttarakhand tunnel collapse incident.

Introduction: Briefly describe the incident.

Body: What is role of migrant workers in infrastructure development and challenges faced by them?

Conclusion: Way forward

The recent collapse of the Silkyara Tunnel, an under-construction structure along the Yamunotri National Highway in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district, has resulted in the entrapment of 40 workers. This tunnel forms a crucial component of the Char-Dham all-weather road project.

Role of Migrant Workers in India’s Infrastructure Development

  • Labour Force Contribution: A large percentage of the labour force engaged in building projects is made up of migrants, who are essential to India’s infrastructure development. They frequently take on manual labour-intensive jobs like road construction, construction, and other physically taxing jobs.
  • Economic Contribution: By accepting employment across the nation, frequently in areas where there is a need for labour, migrant workers make a substantial economic contribution.
  • Flexibility in Workforce: Industries can expand their workforce in response to project demands thanks to the flexibility that migrant labour offers. This adaptability is especially important in the construction industry because projects can be spread out over different regions.
  • Social and Cultural Diversity: By fostering the interchange of ideas and practices, migrant workers contribute to the cultural diversity of the areas in which they operate.

Challenges Faced by Migrant Workers

  • Bad Living Conditions: In temporary communities close to building projects, migrant labourers frequently experience subpar living conditions. Health problems can result from inadequate housing, sanitary conditions, and access to medical care.
  • Low salaries and Exploitation: Low salaries and unfavourable working conditions are two instances of exploitation that affect migrant workers. They do not know that they have rights, or they might be afraid of losing their jobs if they ask for better terms.
  • Absence of Social Security: Many migrant workers are uninsured against disease, accidents, and downturns in the economy since they do not have access to social security benefits.
  • Unsafe Working Conditions: The nature of infrastructure projects often exposes migrant workers to hazardous working conditions. Lack of safety measures and training can lead to accidents and injuries.
  • Limited Legal Protections: Migrant workers may not be adequately protected by labour laws, and their legal status might be ambiguous, making it difficult for them to seek legal recourse in case of disputes.

Conclusion

To address these issues and protect the rights and welfare of migrant workers engaged in India’s infrastructure development, a comprehensive strategy combining industry practises, social initiatives, and government legislation is needed.

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