Staff Reporter

Minister non-committal on demand for regularisation of services of pourakarmikas

Cabinet panel considering demand, says Srinivas

Legal, financial implications to be examined

Bangalore: The Opposition on Friday walked out of the Legislative Assembly protesting against the refusal of Municipal Administration Minister R. Srinivas to commit himself to regularising the services of nearly 5,000 pourakarmikas working in various local bodies, including Bangalore.

Members, cutting across party lines, pleaded with the Minister that the entire House would back him if he agreed to regularise the services of pourakarmikas, who manually clean municipal waste.

The Statewide strike by the pourakarmikas’ union entered the seventh day on Friday.

Mr. Srinivas, who replied to a debate on the matter during zero hour, said he would discuss the legal and financial implications of regularising the services of pourakarmikas with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

He said the Supreme Court had ordered that the services of those who had completed ten years of service should be confirmed. It had not restrained the Government from confirming the services of others. A Cabinet subcommittee was considering the matter, and the Government had to take a decision on whether to regularise the services of all daily wage workers, including pourakarmikas, he said.

Repeated pleas by Leader of the Opposition N. Dharam Singh, Mallikarjun Kharge, Siddaramaiah, R.V. Deshpande, Vatal Nagaraj, H.C. Mahadevappa, Anjana Murthy, M.T. Krishnappa, N. Yogish Bhat, P.G.R. Sindhia, S. Rajendran, G.V. Sriram Reddy and Vaijnath Patil did not move the Minister. They said it would not be a problem to regularise their services against existing posts. Any delay in conceding the demand would lead to serious consequences in cities and towns.

Agreeing to the demand in principle, Mr. Srinivas said there were a lot of procedures involved. It would take at least a month for all the departments to concerned to be consulted. The union leaders had been invited for talks twice, and a Government Order had been issued extending the 5th Pay Commission recommendations to all pourakarmikas.

The seniority list of pourakarmikas to be promoted had been announced and the services of 1,089 C and D group workers had been confirmed. A retired joint secretary had been appointed to set right the anomalies in the seniority list. But the office-bearers of the union were adamant and were refusing to resume work.

But the Minister’s reply did not satisfy the members, and the Opposition staged a walkout.