Admn must ensure salaries to safai workers: Panel chief

Recommends cancelling of their contract with pvt players

Admn must ensure salaries to safai workers: Panel chief

Geja Ram (L), Chairman of the Punjab State Safai Karamcharis Commission, addresses a press conference in Bathinda. vijay kumar

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 27

Punjab State Safai Karamcharis Commission Chairman Geja Ram on Thursday recommended the cancellation of the contract between safai workers and private contractors with immediate effect. He said the safai workers were not getting full payment of their salaries and even the department was not contributing its share in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). Geja Ram was speaking during a press conference here on Thursday.

Addressing mediapersons, he said now the salaries of the workers should be directly credited into their bank accounts. Before addressing the press conference, the Chairman presided over a meeting where heads of different departments were present and interacted with safai workers.

On Wednesday, the Chairman had ordered a probe after getting a complaint from contractual employees of the Water Supply and Sanitation Department that it was not contributing its share in the EPF.

He asked Municipal Corporation officials to ensure the safety of the safai workers who clean the sewer pipes. He said now government officials would be held responsible for the delay in the payment of their salaries. They must ensure that workers were given full salaries.

He pointed out that a Special Investigation Team (SIT), consisting of the DC, the SP, a Labour Department official and a Welfare Officer, would be formed to ensure the safety of safai workers while working in sewer lines. He enquired about the well being and jobs provided to close relatives of those who died while cleaning sewer lines.

Geja Ram warned of taking strict legal action against those officials who failed to comply with the Commission’s orders. He said, “Sewer workers have a great role in society and in return society should also respect such employees working to clean sewer lines. The Chairman directed the officials of all the municipal councils to prepare a seniority list of permanent employees for their promotion.”

He directed the Health Department officials to set up special camps for the medical check-up of the persons involved in the cleaning work to ensure their good health.

Deputy Commissioner B Srinivasan assured that the district administration would safeguard the interests and monetary benefits of the safai workers. Geja Ram said the SIT would submit the report within 10 days.

Meanwhile, he listened to the problems of sweepers and directed the officials concerned to take appropriate action. He further appreciated the district administration and the officials of the Water Supply and Sanitation Department for purchasing a robot to clean manholes.

He asked the Executive Officers (EOs) of the municipal councils to prepare a seniority list of sweepers and give them promotions.

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