The North Delhi Municipal Corporation will not hire new sanitation workers in its six hospitals. Instead, it will employ private workers who will be expected to multi-task.
According to North Corporation official, multi-tasking workers will be hired from private concessionaire who will work in coordination with sanitation workers. “Despite our best efforts, maintenance of MCD hospitals is not up to the mark. So we have proposed to hire private companies. We have the same system at our headquarters in Civic Centre,” said Pravesh Wahi, standing committee chairman, North Corporation.
The North Corporation runs Hindu Rao Hospital, Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine & Tuberculosis, Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases Hospital, Kasturba Hospital, Mrs. Girdhar Lal hospital and Balak Ram Hospital. Together they employ more than 1,000 sanitation workers.
Every year, after retirements, about 100-150 positions fall vacant. The corporation has said it will not be hiring permanent staff to fill these vacancies but will get private workers on contract jobs. Officials said only 5% hiring will be allowed on compassionate grounds. “Say, if a worker dies on duty, his next of kin will be hired. But only 5% of the total vacancies will be kept aside for such reasons,” said an official.
“The proposal is taken from the report of Sixth Central Pay Commission, which stresses upon eradicating the role of sanitation workers. It recommends hiring multi-tasking workers who can do the jobs of gardeners, cleaners, plumbers and guards,” said Dr DK Seth Director Hospital Administration, North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
“That’s why we are training the existing sanitation staff to multi-task and also hiring private workforce in the place of retiring workers,” he said further.
The decision has not gone down well among the sanitation workers at the hospitals. “Why do they want to stop hiring people in group D category only? Ideally, they should implement the decision in group A, B and C categories as well,” said Rajendra Mewati, general secretary, United front for MCD employees.
“In fact, this should be done in all the government departments because the bureaucrats, engineers, doctors are not multi-tasking too and have no knowledge about other fields. Moreover, taking the services of private concessionaire means helping one businessman in becoming rich and snatching the opportunities from other needy people. This is not the solution for saving funds,” Mewati said.
Last month, the corporation started merging the over lapping services at Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine & Tuberculosis with Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases Hospital with an aim to save expenditure. These are services of Kitchen, Laundry, Ambulance, administration, etc.
Based on the outcome, the civic agency will decide whether to merge the Kasturba Hospital with Mrs Girdhar Lal hospital also, to cut down on administrative and other recurring expenses.
“It will bring down annual expenses by at least R100 crore. This amount can be used to improve cleanliness in these hospitals and other services,” said a senior municipal official.
There is also plan to abolish the posts in various departments which are vacant for long time. As of now, North Corporation is spending R600 cr annually on the maintenance of these hospitals.