Hyderabad: “The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is leaving its health and sanitation workers under threat,” claimed Adil Shariff, President of Municipal Sahakar Mazdoor Union on Thursday.
Shariff asserted that the lives of more than 24000 sanitary workers, 1100 SFAs (Sanitary Field Assistants), over 2200 entomology workers working on a contract basis, 1200 permanent sweeping workers and 150 sanitary jawans are at risk.”
The Sahakar Mazdoor Union accused the GHMC for not providing safety gear on par with that of the DRF (Disaster Response Force) teams who have advanced chemical resistance suits, gumboots and anti-fog goggles for their protection.
The Union pointed out that it is the sanitation SFAs and Entomology workers that interact with members of the public who are at high risk such as foreign returnees. Yet these workers have not been provided with adequate safety gears as DRF teams have.
Mr. Shariff further stated that workers in Health & Sanitation as well as Entomology departments are well trained in spraying and fogging operations. However, the GHMC, its Enforcement Vigilance and Disaster Management (EVDM) wing and nearly 300 DRF personnel are performing the spraying work after undergoing a three-day training program on the use of spraying machines, respirators and etc.
The sanitary workers, SFAs, entomology workers, permanent sweepers and sanitary jawans have been given some nominal face masks. This equipment is essential as they go about tracing possible Covid-19 suspects by visiting their homes to speak with the them and their family members. Plus, they will do this by also monitoring homes of quarantined foreign returnees.
Now they have the additional responsibility of all monitoring those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat Congregation in Nizamuddin, New Delhi —
which has turned into a hotbed of coronavirus infections in the area.
The amount of nominal masks provided to these workers clearly will not suffice for multiple use.
Shariff also asked that safety gear and protection also be provided to the revenue staff of GHMC.
Thereby, the GHMC employees are working without any safety gear thereby putting their families at risk too. Despite this, GHMC employees are working and serving the municipal and national interest.
Apart from this, the government decided to cut the salaries of their employees. The GHMC employees and workers were expecting the Telangana government to provide some additional perks to them for carrying out their job in such a risky and dangerous climate.
Sharif also requested the Chief Minister to exempt the GHMC Employees and contract workers from the salary cut offs for the month of March 20.
He also said that, “The quality of face masks, hand gloves, sanitisers and other safety measures at the DRF teams’ disposal should be provided to the health & sanitation and revenue wing of the GHMC.”
He also mentioned that the GHMC should act like a model employer and not discriminate among employees.