Civic police demand regularisation

July 09, 2014 11:09 am | Updated 11:09 am IST - KOLKATA:

Protesting against lack of job security, the West Bengal Civic Police Association demanded that the State government assure the civic police of permanent jobs with requisite benefits.

The Civic Police Volunteer Force, also known as ‘Green Police’, was introduced by the Kolkata Municipality in 2008 primarily to assist the Kolkata Police in traffic management. According to the president of the West Bengal Civic Police Association Sanjay Poria, there are more than one lakh personnel employed as civic police throughout the State. Yet, they enjoy no job security.

“Although we were employed as contractual workers of the State’s Labour Department, we received no appointment letter or formal training. Our job responsibilities were not specified at the time of joining. Some of our colleagues have been deployed at various police stations and are made to petty jobs there,” Mr. Poria said.

The government has failed to clear wages of many of the personnel for months, he said. Claiming that many personnel have committed suicide due to this, he said: “We face several risks while on the job. A civic police officer died while he was on duty in Paschim Medinipur district when a car ran over him. We get no medical facilities. How does the government expect us to live on a measly wage of Rs. 141 with only 120 working days in a year?”

The civic police’s wage is much lower than the minimum daily wage of Rs. 222 as decided by the State government, general secretary of a labour rights forum Naba Dutta said.

“While the government has the right to appoint anyone on a temporary basis, it is also expected to furnish appointment letters.

Denying appointment letters and not specifying service conditions is tantamount to unfair labour practices. The government is also bound to provide job benefits like medical benefits, provident fund, equal remuneration, etc. to the personnel despite them being contractual workers” Mr. Dutta said.

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