Nizamabad Gram Panchayat workers cry for more wages

Even one year after KCR promised a hike, nothing has happened

August 30, 2019 10:07 am | Updated 10:08 am IST - NIZAMABAD

Gram Panchayat workers staging a dharna demanding better pay in front of the Collectorate  in Nizamabad.

Gram Panchayat workers staging a dharna demanding better pay in front of the Collectorate in Nizamabad.

Gram Panchayat workers of Nizamabad are in dire straits with their wages not enough to make ends meet.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had promised a hike in their wages (to ₹8,500 per month) around one year ago, but that did not materialise till date.

There are about 3,000 workers catering to sanitation, tax collection and electricity works in villages. Each village has three to ten workers depending on its population and size.

These workers are appointed on a temporary basis by gram panchayats and paid salaries by GPs from their proceeds. Their salaries range between ₹2,000 and ₹4,000 depending on the financial capacity of the panchayats.

The government does not sanction funds for their salaries. Sometimes, salaries are not paid regularly. They do not get additional benefits like ESI, PF or special allowances.

Such workers under the Telangana GP Employees and Workers Union, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), have been staging dharnas for the last one year highlighting their demands. They held demonstrations at Kotagiri, Armoor, Navipet, Bodhan, Rudrur, Yedapally and several other places, including the district headquarters town.

“Buchhavva, who was removed from duty recently citing her old age, died of a heart attack at Veerannagutta in Renjal village. Now, there is nobody to take care of the family. There are many more such cases. Some people are dependent on philanthropists for their survival,” said Noorjahan, CITU district general secretary.

Union leader Bhumanna lamented that even after KCR’s promise to increase their salaries, nothing has happened. “The workers’ repeated representations to the authorities have fallen on deaf ears,” he said.

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