Chennai

Conservancy workers to launch protest tomorrow

Change of hands: Privatisation has resulted in many conservancy workers losing their jobs.   | Photo Credit: B_VELANKANNI RAJ

Conservancy workers of Greater Chennai Corporation have planned to conduct a protest on Thursday, demanding reinstatement of workers under the National Urban Livelihood Mission.

The former Mayor and Saidapet MLA Ma. Subramanian visited Ripon Buildings on Tuesday and met Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash demanding permanent employment for the conservancy workers who lost their jobs after working in the city during the COVID pandemic.

“More than 12,000 workers have participated in conservancy operations for more than 10 years under various schemes, including National Urban Livelihood Mission. Many workers lost their jobs after the pandemic because of the increase in zones under private conservancy operator. The workers who cleaned the city during the pandemic deserve a permanent job as more than 50% of the posts in various departments are vacant,” said Mr. Subramanian.

Over 700 conservancy workers lost their jobs on January 12, following an increase in the number of zones cleaned by private conservancy operators. Over 560 workers from Anna Nagar zone and 230 workers from Royapuram zone have lost their jobs.

Municipal solid waste in seven zones in the southern parts of the city have been cleared by private conservancy operator Urbaser Sumeet for the past few weeks. Another four zones in north Chennai will get a new private conservancy operator shortly.

As a result, many conservancy workers, who have been cleaning garbage for several years under National Urban Livelihood Mission, have lost their jobs.

A few days ago, senior officials of the Corporation said most of the workers, excluding a few who were physically unfit, would be reinstated.

Even after assurance from senior Corporation officials, many workers had not been reinstated.

‘Workers absorbed’

Officials said 4,879 workers in addition to another set of 2,900 workers had been absorbed by the new private conservacy concessionaire.

The Corporation has registered an increase in solid waste of 5,200 tonnes a day from less than 3,500 tonnes a day during the pandemic. Arterial roads in the new zones have been cleaned using mechanical sweeping machines in the past few weeks.

Work on development of processing facilities for construction debris would be readied in Perungudi and Kodungaiyur in three months. Local processing facilities for waste had reduced the intake after the pandemic. CMRL had requested the Corporation to hand over a few sites used for micro composting facilities to construct Metro stations.

For instance, the Corporation had been asked to demolish a micro composting facility in Madhavaram for a Metro station, the officials said.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 4:18:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/conservancy-workers-to-protest-on-thursday/article33613326.ece

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