"100 per cent staff necessary for tackling COVID with 14 days cycle of work and leave," replied civic commissioner Praveen Pardeshi via message when questioned by this newspaper reporter related to the newly issued notification. On Thursday the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued an order asking 100 per cent attendance of it's staffers starting from Monday.
It has mentioned, as per previous notification issued on March 20, it was discovered that several staff are remaining absent on duty following which it has failed to attain 50 per cent attendance. Resulting in, to control covid situation has become a huge task. Considering this, the earlier notifications has been withdrawn and 100 per cent attendance comes into existence.
Though the notication has clearly stated that employees above 55 years and having illness like diabetis, undergoing dialysis, suffering from high blood pressure are exempted and will be allowed to remain on holiday for a month. While all other staff has been asked to report in office.
Disappointed over the issued notification, President of Municipal Employees' Union Adv. Prakash Devdas commented, "Corporation should make some travel arrangement for these employees. How will they reach office when local trains and other transportation facilities are not available? I asked commissioner about same." Moreover, in this alarming situation asking employees to report in office means endangering their lives.
He also informed as commissioner has given powers to ward commissioner of suspension, employees facing a lot of hardship especially those staying at far off places. In a recent instance, E ward assistant commissioner has suspended about 12 employees who were unable to reach office as they reside at far off places, he claimed. "Without giving them an opportunity to say anything the action was initiated which is violation of principles of natural justice. Asking employees to report on duty without making arrangement of travel will only lead to more such actions in future." He asserted.
While, in the issued notification it has been mentioned that those living at far off places like Badlapur, Titwala, Asangaon, Panvel (outskirts of Mumbai) and unabe to reach their office should report to the nearest ward and should get a no-objection certificate from concerned. Interestingly, those fail to provide any valid reason and unable to report in office, they will be marked as absent without leave.
Meanwhile, the BMC has increased the retirement age to 59 year from 58 year of health officers working in all the civic-run hospitals as a temporary measure in view of the coronavirus pandemic.