New Delhi: The Delhi government on Friday announced that it has disbursed ex-gratia payment of Rs 5,000 to every construction worker registered under the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. A total of 2,10,684 construction workers will be granted disbursals under this scheme. As a per a statement, the Delhi government has disbursed Rs 52.88 crore to 1,05,750 construction workers and in the coming days, more construction workers will be granted this ex-gratia relief.

The Delhi Government has also set up food distribution centers across schools and construction sites of Delhi. At least 7,000 food packets have already been distributed in these food distribution centers as of Thursday evening.

“The migrant workers are scared and worried they will go through the same experience again like last year. Through these initiatives, we want to assure them that the government will take care of them and there is nothing to worry about,” a senior official told The Sunday Guardian.

The Delhi government is also planning to set up a helpline for construction, daily-wage, and migrant workers, which will be active in the next 2-3 days. Through this all-encompassing helpline, any worker in Delhi will be able to access information on the availability of beds in hospitals, food distribution centers, availability of medicines, among others.

This move comes at a time when a large number of migrant workers began leaving for their homes after the Delhi government announced a six-day lockdown from Monday to combat the spread of Covid-19. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also appealed to daily-wage and migrant workers not to leave Delhi as the Delhi government is doing everything to ensure they are aided.

On Tuesday, Lieutenant-Ggovernor Anil Baijal appealed to the migrant workers not to leave the city and assured them that the state government would provide all assistance.

Last year during the lockdown, the Delhi government disbursed Rs 5,000 to 55,000 construction workers. Many new construction workers were added to the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, due to large drives for registration of construction workers. Currently, there are 1,72,000 workers registered with the Board.