BMC starts verification process of conservancy workers

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation set up a three member committee to verify documents of 2,700 conservancy workers before they can be appointed as permanent employees. Many employees relieved finally as they have been recognized as permanent employees, while others complained that the officials are taking more time to check the documents.

Around 2,700 workers of the Kachra Vatuk Shramik Sangh, who were paid allowances through contractor instead of wages, had approached the Industrial Tribunal in 2007 demanding that they should be granted benefits of permanent employees. In 2014, Industrial Tribunal ruled in favor of the conservancy workers and directed the BMC to extend the benefits and status of permanent workers to those who had completed 240 days of service from the date of joining and clear their arrears.

The BMC had then challenged the order in the Bombay High Court and subsequently approached the Supreme Court. The committee was appointed after the Supreme Court rejected the BMC’s petition opposing permanency of conservancy workers. Deputy Municipal Commissioner Vijay Balamwar said, “We started the process of verifying documents on Thursday and are planning to complete it within three days.”

Peumalai Ellapan (29) was among the first to be accepted as permanent employee. He said that a team of six civic officials took an hour and a half to complete the verification process for his application. Commenting on this he said, “I had provided four identification proofs, including Aadhaar card, PAN card, voter ID card and identity card of the union. Even then, they kept asking me for a school certificate and birth certificate. How many documents does one need to prove their identity? But I am happy that it is all over now and after 15 long years of service, the BMC has finally recognized us as permanent employees.”

General Secretary of the Kachara Vatuk Shramik Sangh (KVSS) commenting on this said, “At many centers in Andheri and Malad, there was no place for workers to sit and everyone had to sit on the footpath or on the road till it was their turn to go inside. The officials are taking around 45 minutes to an hour for each applicant. At this rate, the verification process of all 2,700 workers will take at least two weeks, if not more.”