Pourakarmikas contracted to clean up the city by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) were thrilled on Wednesday as Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda distributed their salaries through cheques.

From this month on, the contract pourakarmikas will get minimum wages of Rs. 6,936 a month through cheques. After deduction towards provident fund and Employees State Insurance (ES), each pourakarmika will get Rs. 5,040 a month in hand.

Long overdue

Hundreds of pourakarmikas clapped spontaneously as Mr. Gowda praised their role in the city's upkeep. “The hike in the salaries of pourakarmikas has been long overdue. I am happy today to have distributed the cheques to those who strive to keep the city clean,” he said.

Manjamma K., a contract pourakarmika, said she used to get just Rs. 2,400 a month. “We are happy that our long-pending demand has finally been fulfilled. We now hope that our salaries are hiked periodically.”

Her colleague, Mariyamma, said the pay hike would make life a little easier for them. “We have had to borrow heavily. With the increased salary, I hope to clear some of my debts.”

With morale up, BBMP officials too were optimistic about pourakarmikas' cooperation in managing solid waste better in the city.

“We hope to get a lot more cooperation from them. Though the minimum wages was to have been implemented years ago, we could not enforce it due to a host of reasons. We are glad now,” said Hemachandra, BBMP's Joint Commissioner (South Zone).

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