Speedy justice eludes kin of civic workers killed in the line of duty

GHMC accused of being lax in welfare of its contract/outsourced employees

The ground staff of GHMC, the bulwark of the ‘Swachh’ sanitation initiatives the corporation is taking up, is also vulnerable to reckless driving and frequent accidents.

The case of Sayamma, who died after a police patrol vehicle hit her in Rein Bazar on Thursday, is not an isolated one.

Such accidents take place every year, where hapless contract workers lose their lives on roads.

Many fall prey

In March last year, a speeding cab of a transport company went out of control in Madhapur and hit two women sweepers of GHMC, seriously injuring them.

A gardener from the Urban Biodiversity wing died in September last year after he fell from the tanker which he had climbed to prune the tree branches. Komaramma, another GHMC sweeper, died in 2016 after an RTC bus hit her in Ramanthapur.

Speedy justice often eludes their families owing to painful delay in release of compensation, if paid at all.

Justice delayed, denied

In case of Komaramma, the State government had announced an ex-gratia of ₹10 lakh when GHMC workers and the victim’s kin staged a rasta roko bringing the traffic to a standstill. However, Komaramma’s family got a mere ₹2 lakh from the Mayor’s fund, and ₹5 lakh insurance, after long-drawn negotiations. The ex-gratia never came.

President of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Employees Union affiliated to Telangana Rashtra Samithi Karmika Vibhagam, Udhari Gopal cites many cases where compensation was not paid, and accuses the corporation of being lax in welfare of its contract/outsourced employees.

He cites another case of a labourer in Transport wing, Narsing Rao, who died in an accident on ORR, during duty hours.

His wife was given a job after much effort to secure one, but she did not get insurance at all.

Narsing Rao’s father Pentaiah confirms this, saying he is struggling to make ends meet, as his younger son is also seriously ill.

“GHMC contract workers expose themselves to pollution, which reduces their life span drastically. They are not compensated well for it,” Mr. Gopal says and adds that GHMC had earlier paid for accident insurance of outsourced employees, but within two years, the scheme was discarded.

The compensation from Labour department is often not paid, or paid late.

Municipal Commissioner B. Janardhan Reddy, however, refuted the charges, and said three victims were paid ₹6 lakh insurance each under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna last year, besides ₹2 lakh each by the Mayor.

“The earlier insurance scheme was discontinued, as it proved very expensive. We would have incurred less expenditure if we paid the worker directly,” he says, and adds that GHMC pays the “best compensation” in the country.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 11:40:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/speedy-justice-eludes-kin-of-civic-workers-killed-in-the-line-of-duty/article24719814.ece

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