For improving solid waste management in the city

Tiruchi Corporation will soon hire, through a private agency, 421 sanitary workers on contract basis for improving solid waste management in the city.

The move comes amidst severe shortage of manpower faced by the civic body, especially for sanitation work.

The corporation requires 3,636 workers for solid waste management, but has only 1,655 workers on its rolls now.

The city spread over 167.23 square km with a population of 9.16 lakh needs another 1,981 sanitary workers.

Over the past few months, the civic body has been toying with various other options, including a move to rope in men’s self-help group members for sanitation works.

This apart, women SHGs are being gradually involved in sanitation-related works. Yet, the corporation has been hampered by manpower constraint, even as the city is fast expanding on all directions. For the past few years, it has been a general plaint among elected representatives of the civic body that the shortage of sanitary workers at the ward level was reflecting badly on the corporation.

In recent months, retirements and long absentees among sanitary staff had only aggravated the problem.

In an attempt to overcome the shortage, the civic body had sought permission from the Commissioner of Municipal Administration (CMA) for hiring 421 sanitary workers on contract basis through a private agency.

An official resolution on the subject, approved by the Corporation Council at its last meeting, said the CMA has permitted the civic body to hire the sanitary workers through agencies by calling for a tender under the Tamil Nadu Tender Transparency Act and Rules.

As per the resolution, the corporation would incur an expenditure of Rs.2.82 crore for six months if it were to hire 421 workers on permanent basis.

On the other hand, by hiring the workers on contract basis as per the wages approved by the government, the civic body will be spending about Rs.2.46 crore, resulting in a savings of Rs.36 lakh every half year.

The corporation would initially hire the contract workers on a trial basis for six months.Once the workers are hired, councillors could breathe easy as more number of sanitary staff would be assigned to their wards.