With threat to their livelihood looming large, a section of pourakarmikas on contract with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has threatened to lay siege to the palike headquarters on November 28. This is in anticipation of job loss once the new garbage contracts come into effect.
The proposal, finalised in the last BBMP council meeting, is expected to jeopardise the jobs of nearly half the contract pourakarmikas.
Addressing the media here earlier this week, Mysore Narayana, state president of the Karnataka State City Corporations, City Councils, Municipalities Pourakarmikas Association, said the decision to take away the jobs of the contract pourakarmikas is “illegal and inhuman.”
Most are women
“There are 17,000 contract pourakarmikas and 9,000 more are needed. But the BBMP is set to reduce the number further. Almost 90 per cent of the pourakarmikas are women. What will happen to them?”
He also questioned the reasoning behind the lengthy shifts of the pourkarmikas.
“They are expected to collect garbage from 1,000 houses in the morning shift and clean eight-km stretches in the afternoon.”
The association members — there are 10,000 of them — said the protest would not affect garbage collection.
Among the association’s demands are ensuring that pourakarmikas with 15 to 20 years service should not be removed from their jobs, Rs. 20 lakh relief to families of garbage truck drivers who lost their lives on night shift, returning the amount “illegally” collected from the pourakarmikas by cutting the ESI and PF amount from their salaries and appointing 4,000 more on a permanent basis following the two-year old direction of the State government.