Karnataka State Safai Karmachari chairperson M R Venkatesh said that Safai Karmacharis are not given proper safety equipment in Udupi district. Awareness on safety measures among the civic workers is also very low.
Speaking to reporters, Venkatesh said that he visited the colonies and received complaints about the irregular health care facilities and the non-availability of the Griha Bhagya benefits. He said that he has directed the deputy commissioner to look into the problem and sort it out.
The other major issue is lack of awareness over using safety measures in the process of the work. This is the violation of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Rules 2013. He said that compared to other districts, the problems are less in Udupi. He added that the state government is paying the highest salary to permanent staff with nearly Rs 17,000 from January in comparison to the others states wherein the Safai Karmacharis are paid Rs 11,000 including all the benefits.
Until recently they were paid Rs 14,950. In the first phase, the services of as many as 6000 Safai Karmacharis are regularized and another in 5000 in Mahanagarapalike are made permanent. As and when the vacancies are created, the government has decided to regularize the services of the Safai Karmacharis based on seniority.
Elaborating on various programmes introduced by the government for the benefits of Safai Karmacharis, he said that as many as 1685 seats are reserved for the children of Safai Karmacharis in prestigious schools every year. Sadly only 125 are filled due to lack of awareness. He said Rs 10 crore is earmarked for health care needs under Jyoti Sanjeevini Yojane. Under Griha Bhagya Yojane, as many as 7.5 lakh permanent employees are identified and another 5.5 lakh in urban areas and 3.5 lakh in rural areas are identified from the outsourced employees' group. Rs 100 crore is earmarked for the welfare of Safai Karmacharis by the state government.
He added that his first phase of visiting all the districts and looking into the problem of Safai Karmacharis is ending with Udupi.