Seeking to remind the Congress party of its pre-poll promise to regularize the jobs of pourakarmikas, the Karnataka State Local Bodies’ Pourakarmikas Association has called upon Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to regularize the services of all pourakarmikas, loaders, cleaners, drivers and under-ground drainage (UGD) workers simultaneously.
Addressing a press conference in Mysuru on Friday, association president Narayan, who is also a former Mayor of Mysuru, said there were a total of 41,373 pourakarmikas in BBMP, ten City Corporations, City Municipal Councils, Town Municipalities and Gram Panchayats across the State, besides 11,800 loaders, cleaners, drivers and 544 UGD workers, totaling 53,173 workers.
When the pourakarmikas embarked upon a state-wide agitation on July 1, 2022, the then Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai gave a written assurance to regularize the services of all the pourakarmikas, who had been receiving direct payment of wages from local bodies, and bring all cleaners, loaders and drivers, who were on contract, under the Direct Payment System (DPS).
Subsequently, the BJP government issued orders for regularizing the services of 11,333 pourakarmikas in one batch and 12,872 pourakarmikas in another batch. But, the orders issuing regularization of services in different batches, sparked off protests from pourkarmikas, whose names were not on the lists, causing confusion. For instance, there were the names of only 3,000 pourkarmikas out of the 18,000 in BBMP and 170 out of the 1,680 in Mysuru City Corporation (MCC). In the second batch, there about 11,000 names of pourakarmikas from BBMP. The process of regularization of services in batches, which had created confusion, had to be eventually halted with the announcement of elections to the Legislative Assembly.
Hence, Mr. Narayan has called upon the Congress government to regularize the services of all the pourakarmikas and other sanitation workers including loaders, drivers, cleaners and UGD workers simultaneously. He also reminded the Congress party about its pre-poll promise to regularize the services of the pourakarmikas if elected to power.
Mr. Narayan recalled that Mr. Siddaramaiah, during his earlier stint as Chief Minister, had brought the pourakarmikas, who were on contract system, under the direct payment system of the respective local bodies. However, the loaders, cleaners, drivers and UGD workers had remained on contract.
Now, Mr. Narayan said, the State government should take necessary steps to consider all the sanitation workers as pourakarmikas and regularize their services.