Kudumbasree refuses to join new garbage project

The source-level waste management programme of the Kozhikode Municipal Corporation is facing a crisis with the Kudumbasree workers, involved in collecting solid waste across the city, refusing to be part of the project.

The corporation had plans to involve the Kudumbasree workers in the new project as the old system of collecting waste from homes will not be necessary once the source-level waste management programme is implemented in all the wards. However, the Kudumbasree workers have refused to accept the corporation’s offer.

“The corporation has not revealed its policy in the matter. The workers are confused about their role in the project,” said M.V. Ramsi Ismail, project officer in-charge of Kudumbasree in the corporation.

When the Kudumbasree was entrusted with the task of solid waste collection 15 years ago, there were around 600 workers involved in it. But the number has reduced to around 350 now as many had quit due to severe health issues caused by direct handling of waste. Having worked in the sector for 15 years, the existing workers are expected to be absorbed as permanent staff in the corporation’s contingency wing. Though there are around 200 vacancies of contingency workers now, the corporation has not taken a decision about offering the positions to Kudumbasree workers.

The workers fear that they might lose the advantage of continuity if they agree to be part of the new programme, though the Health Standing Committee chairman of the corporation, K.V. Baburaj, had verbally assured them that they would not lose it. The remuneration offered to them to be part of the new programme is also not satisfactory.

“The corporation should think of ways to rehabilitate these workers when the new system is implemented. Some could be accommodated in the contingency wing while some could be part of the waste segregation centres that are to be opened as part of the Swachch Bharat programme,” Mr. Ismail said.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 5:02:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/Kudumbasree-refuses-to-join-new-garbage-project/article15573114.ece

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