Civic body negligent about sanitation workers’ safety

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 9 January 2020

When Sakal Times contacted Avinash Sapkal, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of Bibvewadi ward office, he said, “In earlier cases that took place last year, we lodged a complaint against the accused but I am not aware of the recent case that took place at the Vishrambaug ward office.”

PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has been doing everything to bag a good rank in the Swachh Survekshan 2020, but in the process, it has forgotten to take care of sanitation workers’ safety. 

Sanitation workers work in three shifts to keep the city clean but their safety is not ensured by the administration. Although, there were two harassment and beating up cases of sanitation employees which came up last year, this time, yet another sanitation worker Tanaji Devkule (who works in the night shift at Vishrambaug ward office) was hit by a resident. 

While working, Devkule told a resident not to throw garbage in an open area. It led to an argument and Devkule got injured after he was hit by a stick on his forehead.

Mukta Manohar, Secretary, PMC’s worker union, said, “There have been several cases where sanitation workers have been harassed for doing their work.” 

Manohar said, “Sanitation workers play an important role in keeping the city clean and they have been given the task create awareness in people about not dumping garbage in the open, but residents consider it as an insult and several times, it leads to  argument and sometimes, it turns violent.”

“Although, we have raised sanitation workers’ security issues with the municipal commissioner repetitively, apart from legal action, no mechanism was developed to take preventive measures,” added Manohar. 

When Sakal Times contacted Avinash Sapkal, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of Bibvewadi ward office, he said, “In earlier cases that took place last year, we lodged a complaint against the accused but I am not aware of the recent case that took place at the Vishrambaug ward office.”

Dyaneshwar Molak, Deputy Commissioner of Solid Waste Department, said, “We have taken up sanitation workers’ security issues several times and we took action in cases where they were beaten up.”

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