Wage sans broom
IT IS a revelation that threatens to raise a stink equalling that of the mounds of uncollected garbage strewn across the City.india Updated: Sep 27, 2006 15:29 IST
IT IS a revelation that threatens to raise a stink equalling that of the mounds of uncollected garbage strewn across the City.
Key BJP leaders are learnt to have installed dozens of savarna (upper-caste) supporters on muster roll as beldars (sweepers) and in other menial jobs traditionally carried out by the Scheduled Castes.
Their number is said to be the largest in the Vijay Nagar and Subhash Nagar municipal zones — both notorious for their lack of sanitation.
Though, upper caste employees collect wages regularly they rarely do any work on the ground that it is beneath their dignity to sweep roads or cart off garbage.
Their intransigence not only leads to piling up of garbage and streets going unswept but also burns a hole in the pocket of the civic body which dispenses lakhs of rupees to people who, in effect, do nothing.
It also adds up to a piquant situation for the Indore Municipal Corporation Health Department that is at a loss when queried by irate corporators to why it cannot effectively carry out sanitation duties even with the full quota of employees.
According to IMC sources, the process of corporators installing their supporters began after the previous BJP-majority council authorised zonal officers to substitute truant muster roll sanitation staffers provided the new appointments did not exceed the number of sacked employees.
“Soon thereafter, corporators started pressurising zonal officers to sack SC employees so that their supporters could be accommodated,” revealed IMC Safai Mazdoor Congress President Jatashankar Karosia.
The union leader revealed that the number of permanent and muster roll sanitation staffers in the IMC stood at 3,200 and 2,300 respectively.
“Practically, all of the temporary sanitation staffers belong to general or OBC categories and have been appointed on the recommendations of some politician or the other,” he charged.
Citing the example of Vijay Nagar zone, he said 224 of the 380 muster employees were either of non-Scheduled Castes category or had attempted to fudge their caste antecedents by substituting their surnames with their father’s name.
When contacted, Additional Municipal Commissioner (General Administration Department) Kumar Purshottam asserted that any employee who did not carry out his duties effectively would be sacked.
“The charge that non-Scheduled Castes employees are being appointed as beldars on the recommendations of corporators or other politicians has no basis,” he declared.