TS Govt treating frontline warriors against COVID-19 badly: Cong

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has expressed shock over non-payment of salaries for the last two months to the sanitation staff of various municipalities in Telangana despite them playing a crucial role in combat against Coroanvirus.

Uttam Kumar Reddy on Saturday felicitated sanitation workers of Nalgonda Municipality and distributed essential commodities among them. Later, he visited the Nalgonda District Medical & Health Office where Asha workers were also felicitated and essential items were distributed among them. He also distributed food and other essential commodities among people in Leprosy Colony.

Speaking to media persons, Uttam Kumar Reddy said he had visited Miryalguda municipality four days ago where sanitation workers complained of non-payment of salaries for two months. He said the situation was no different in Nalgonda municipality where he visited today. “Is this the way to motivate frontline warriors against Coronavirus?” he asked demanding immediate clearance of all dues, along with incentives to entire sanitation staff across Telangana State.

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Uttam Kumar Reddy also demanded that all employees of State Government and pensioners should be paid full salaries and pension amount. Further, he said substantial incentives should be given to municipal employees, sanitation workers, Gram Panchayat employees, Police personnel and medical professionals. He said all employees, including contract and outsourcing workers, fighting for containment of Coronavirus pandemic be paid suitable incentives.

The TPCC Chief also condemned the State Government for not allowing private labs to conduct Coronavirus test. He said private labs in nearly 27-29 States across the country got permission to conduct COVID-19 test.

He said despite having a very low rate of tests, the Telangana Government was not permitting the ICMR approved labs to conduct COVID-19 tests. He questioned the State Government over delay in issuing local guidelines to allow private labs to conduct the test. He said that the Supreme Court, in its recent judgment, said that testing for COVID-19 should be done free of cost.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has recently announced that the State Government would procure agriculture produce by allocating Rs. 30,000 crore. He demanded that the Sweet Lime too should be included in procurement list.

He said traditionally Nalgonda produces Sweet Lime worth nearly Rs. 400-500 crore every year. However, he said that the Sweet Lime farmers were worried as the prices have dropped from Rs. 40,000 per tonne to a mere Rs. 10,000. Therefore, he demanded that the State Government procure Sweet Lime and arrange their export to other States to help the farmers recover their investments.

The TPCC Chief said that the promised 12 kg rice and Rs. 1500 cash for nearly 87 lakh BPL families did not reach all the beneficiaries. Similarly, he said promised 10 kg rice and Rs. 500 cash to nearly 3.5 lakh migrant workers were also not delivered fully. He demanded that the State Government hasten up the relief works to help the poor families affected due to lockdown.

He said it was strange that the poor and needy persons did not get any help from the State Government even after 20 days of lockdown. “How daily wage earners would’ve survived for the last 20 days and how they should feed their families now?” he asked.

Uttam Kumar Reddy also demanded that the State Government clarify on the status of 15 kg rice for poor promised by the Centre. Further, he reiterated the demand that the announcement by the Centre of providing one free LPG cylinder for three months to Ujwala Scheme beneficiaries be extended to Deepam beneficiaries.

He said there were only a few beneficiaries of Ujwala scheme while the Deepam beneficiaries were large in numbers. He demanded that the State Government restore the services of 7,500 Field Assistants of MGNREGA so to restore the NREGA works across the Telangana State. He said NREGA works were at standstill due to strike by Field Assistants.

However, he said in view of Coronavirus epidemic Field Assistants have agreed to withdraw the strike unconditionally. Therefore, he said the State Government should take them back and restore NREGA works to help the rural poor.

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