The Chennai Corporation officials will soon be permitted to engage workers on contract to react faster to civic challenges. The civic body this week will put in place a rate contract system to hire conservancy workers, road tholilalis and malaria workers if there is a pressing need to address a civic problem.

The zonal officials need not seek permission from the Commissioner for hiring such employees after administrative sanction is given for the rate contract. The rate for the labour contract will be fixed in such a way that the workers get paid better. A senior official of the Corporation said this would provide a solution to the issues of absenteeism and vacancies.

For example, the zonal officials will have an option of hiring some road tholilalis in the morning so that the work can be completed on the same day if a road gets damaged due to rains the previous night. Similarly, mosquito control operations can be carried out in a locality by hiring workers on contract, minutes after receiving complaints in the morning. Roads can also be swept clean by conservancy workers on contract if a garbage issue is highlighted in a newspaper in the morning.

However, there is a ceiling on the number of labourers on contract in each of the 200 wards of the Corporation. The official cannot hire more labourers than the number permitted as per norms. The civic body has collected data on the number of vacancies in posts such as conservancy workers, road tholilalis and malaria workers. The requirement of such labourers for each of the wards in the 426 sq km of the city will soon be analysed. Decision on the number of workers permitted for each ward will be taken shortly.

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