‘BBMP should appoint more number of pourakarmikas’

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) must have its own pourakarmikas in at least 50 per cent of the city for effective solid waste management, said Home Minister K.J. George.

Speaking at a programme organised to mark Pourakarmikas’ Day and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Jayanti celebrations here on Thursday, Mr. George said that if the BBMP has under its control at least 50 per cent of the area in the city with regard to collecting and disposing of solid waste, the garbage contractors will not be able to hold the civic body to ransom. He also noted that the old contractors must be slowly phased out and new contractors must be brought in.

Transport Minister and city in-charge Ramalinga Reddy said that the number of permanent pourakarmikas (employed directly by BBMP) had dropped to just 4,000. “When there were 100 wards, there were 10,000 pourakarmikas. Now the city has expanded to cover 198 wards and has one crore population; but, the number of pourakarmikas has gone down.”

Mr. Reddy also said that the BBMP Council must pass a resolution to provide ‘hakku patras’ (title deeds) to the pourakarmikas. Mr. Reddy promised that the government would spend Rs. 560 crore to develop 400-km stretch of road. slew of road projects, including widening of Sarjapur Road and Bannerghatta Road would be taken up.G. Parameshwar, president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, said that though 8,000 posts of pourakarmikas were vacant, the BBMP should at least fill 4,000 posts, recruitment for which government has already accorded approval.

According to Mr. Parameshwar, as announced in the election manifesto, the government was looking to bifurcating the BBMP towards improving administration. BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan said that from 12,000 pourakarmikas, the number had come down to just 4,000. He said to mark Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Jayanti, the BBMP would soon release honorarium of Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000 for pourakarmikas and retired pourakarmikas respectively. Earlier, the BBMP Pourakarmikas and Arogya Gangmangala Sangha submitted a memorandum to the Minister.

Their demands included immediate recruitment of 4,000 pourakarmikas, regularisation of daily wage pourkarmikas, sanctioning of remaining sites at Kodihalli, Williams Town, Pottery Road, Jakkarayanakere, J.J.R. Nagar and Kumbaragundi to pourakarmikas, extending the Vajpayee Arogyasri scheme to contract pourakarmikas, besides sanctioning sites at concessional rates in 100 acres in 10 different places.

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