Civic body slashes manpower to 700 guards from 1,700 citing insufficient budget.
Pune: Security at several Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) owned properties like public gardens, maternity homes, hospitals, schools and water tanks has gone for a toss as the PMC has not extended contracts with private contractors who provide security guards to the civic body.
From August 1, the civic body stopped hiring the services of around 1,000 security guards, out of a total 1,700 guards, citing insufficient monetary provision in the budget for 2017-18. The PMC has decided to reduce the manpower deployed for security of over 500 properties from 1,700 to just 700 guards.
Facing retrenchment, over 500 security guards including women protested against the civic administration’s decision on Wednesday and demanded that the PMC take them back into service.
The protesters said that they have been doing this job for past 10 years and searching for a new job is difficult. Moreover, they are no longer young and it is not possible for most of them, especially women, to find new jobs.
BJP corporator Rajendra Shilimkar, who runs a trade union of contract labourers, said that the municipal commissioner cut the monetary provision for payments to contracted security guards from Rs 32 crore to Rs 14 crore, which can pay salaries of only 700 security guards.
“Additional Municipal Commissioner Prerana Deshbhratar requested us to make the funds available for paying the security guards, following which the civic administration will appoint more security guards to protect PMC properties,” Shilimkar said.