About 1,000 groups with 18 members each will replace the contract system

Each group will comprise 15 women, three men

SHGs working in suburbs of Uppal, L.B.Nagar,

HYDERABAD: Women power will be on show from next week on the capital roads with GHMC putting the entire road sweeping work into the hands of Self-Help Groups (SHGs).

About 1,000 groups with 18 members each will replace consigning the decade-old contract system into the dustbin.

Each group will have 15 women and three men with one among them being the supervisor. The SHG head is being chosen on literacy levels and being adept with numbers for account book maintenance. The leader will get an extra Rs. 500 and a cell phone too! A group account is to be opened immediately to enable the health and sanitation wing to transfer payments into it for disbursal. Within a month, each contract labour will have individual bank accounts where their salaries will be transferred, explains Additional Commissioner R. Rama Mohan Rao. “We have been holding a meeting with contract workers to transfer the sanitation work as it cuts away middlemen. The response has been excellent so far,” he says. GHMC will pay for the equipment cost or supply items like brooms, wheel barrows and others. There are 9,000 contract sanitation labourers working in the 18 circles and for long they have been accusing their contractors of not paying proper wages or denying their share of ESI and PF share leading to regular protests by the workers unions.

Each worker has to be paid Rs. 2,886 a month as per norms. Private contractors too numbering 257 have been holding GHMC to ransom threatening to hold up work on some pretext or other. Authorities hope to put an end to all such tactics with the present move. Women SHGs are already working in suburbs of Uppal, L.B.Nagar, etc., producing good results and only 14 such groups are in the core city area. Most new groups will now be formed in erstwhile MCH area now, says Mr. Rao. The plan also is to form SHGs for entomology section too having 3,000 contract labour. For the main roads, GHMC has six large and 25 medium sized automatic sweeping machines working eight to 10 hours a day along with 15 bob-carts for lanes. Seven new machines are expected to join the sweeping fleet.