Tamil Nadu government urged to set up State-level commission for sanitary workers

Published - May 13, 2023 06:12 pm IST - THANJAVUR

Chairperson of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (Sanitary Workers) M. Venkatesan has called upon the Tamil Nadu government to set up a State-level commission for sanitary workers.

Talking to reporters here on Saturday, the NCSK Chairperson pointed out that the welfare board instituted by the Tamil Nadu government could only extend financial assistance to the sanitary workers and nothing more than that.

On the other hand, setting up of a commission would create an environment wherein as a statutory body, it could study and evaluate the working conditions and various schemes implemented for the welfare of the sanitary workers, Mr. Venkatesan pointed out.

Stating that State-level sanitary workers’ commissions already exist in 11 States in the country, Mr. Venkatesan called upon the Tamil Nadu government to set up a State-level commission to look into the issues/grievances of sanitary workers.

He also demanded that contract hiring of sanitary workers by civic bodies in Tamil Nadu be replaced with the direct payment system (DPS) method adopted in neighbouring Karnataka where the payment of wages would be directly made to the sanitary workers though they were not permanent employees.

Adoption of DPS would not only ensure full payment of wages to the workers but also make sure that the provident fund and ESI benefits reach the workers without fail, Mr. Venkatesan added.

As far as the availability of the latest machines for cleaning underground sewage networks and septic tank facilities in smaller civic bodies, the NCSK Chairperson said that the problem of “insufficient funds” for the purchase of such equipment, as claimed by several civic bodies, could be overcome by tapping the resources available with the public sector entities under the Corporate Social Responsibility scheme.

The National Commission had already requested the local civic bodies to send a request in this regard to the NCSK which, in turn, would ensure that funds from CSR scheme of the public sector entities would reach them without fail, Mr. Venkatesan added.

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