BBMP is yet to open the new garbage tenders

Ramaswamy M. (name changed), a contract pourakarmika who works in Pillanna Garden, is a worried man. He does not know if he will get his wages for October. The reason: the old garbage contracts, under which he was employed, ended September 30.

Though he is working in his allotted area since then, he is unsure about who will pay him — the old contractor or the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). “Once the contracts ended, we are only informed about it. We do not know what is to happen now. However, none of us have stopped working. We continue to go to the designated areas early in the morning and collect garbage door-to-door,” he said.

Similarly, Roopak K. (name changed), another contract pourakarmika from Nagawara, said he was informed that the contracts ended September 30. “That apart, we do not have any other details. The local engineer told us to continue with our work.”

According to sources, the old garbage contractors were managing solid waste management in around 40 per cent of the areas in the city. The BBMP does not have either the infrastructure or the required manpower to take up solid waste management in these areas entirely.

S. Balan, president of BBMP Contract Pourakarmikas’ Union, maintained that garbage had not been cleared in these areas, while the contract pourakarmikas struck work in some places. “The BBMP is yet to open new garbage tenders. The interests of these contract pourakarmikas have not been protected,” he alleged.

Meanwhile, BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan conceded that after the old contracts ended, solid waste management in these areas was being departmentally managed (i.e. by the BBMP). He said the old contractors had no locus standi to continue and cannot go to court.

Since the BBMP does not have the manpower, the services of the contract pourakarmikas were being utilised. The BBMP would pay the wages of these pourakarmikas itself. The vehicles such as auto tippers and compactors are being hired from the old contractors by the BBMP. “We will pay them the hiring charges as per the market rates.”

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