'Regularisation of 35,000 contract civic workers soon'

Chairman of Karnataka State Safai Karmachari Commission Narayan said, steps would be taken to regularise the services of 35,000 contract civic workers within a month and the matter would be taken up by the Cabinet shortly.

Addressing a press meet, here, on Monday, he said, even the court orders were in favour of regularising the services of civic workers, but they were being exploited by various agencies. Narayan, who was himself a civic worker and went on to become the Mayor of Mysuru, said, even though the minimum wages for civic workers had been fixed at Rs 8,500 per month, they were being paid a meagre Rs 4,500 in K R Hospital.

“K R Hospital is just an example. Civic workers are exploited by everybody, including local bodies and government agencies,” he said during his first visit to the city after assuming office as Chairman of the Commission.

Pointing out that thousands of crores of rupees, released by governments over the years for the welfare of civic workers, had been returned without being spent, he said, officials of various departments were responsible for the poor condition of civic workers. “The officials of the respective departments will be held responsible if civic workers do not get minimum wages, safety gears, basic facilties and healthcare. If the officials do not discharge their responsibilities towards civic workers, criminal cases will be filed against them and the guilty will be convicted for a jail term, besides imposition of a penalty up to Rs 2 lakh,” he said.

Stating that the government releases Rs 16,000 crore per annum for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, Narayan said, the Dr Ambedkar Development Authority alone has returned Rs 200 crore unutilised funds over the past four years to the government.

“There are 302 night-soil carriers in the State according to a survey. Officials have been claiming that there are no night-soil carriers in Mysuru. But, the claim will be probed before accepting it. With the enactment of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, general civic workers are also entitled for the benefits extended to night-soil carriers,” he said.

Even the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) had returned Rs 45 crore meant for the welfare of civic workers over the past three fiscal years, he said. “My priority is to reach each rupee sanctioned by the government to the beneficiaries. Hi-tech residential schools will be established in all five revenue regions of the State, to encourage education for children of civic workers. Free education will be provided up to degree courses to children of civic workers. Skills development courses will be offered to educated youth from the families of civic workers.

Steps will be taken to provide houses to all civic workers, who are shelterless. For those who already have houses, financial assistance will be provided for renovation,” Narayan said.

The officials concerned have been directed to issue family health cards to all civic workers under Yashaswini scheme by December 30, he added.
DH News Service

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