MUMBAI: The Municipal Union - a representative body of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) employees has written the civic chief demanding and the civic body must requisite employees of the state government for Covid duties in the city.
Citing that pandemic is not just the sole concern and responsibility of BMC employees, state government employees need to be deployed, the union has demanded. Ramakant Bane, Secretary of the Municipal Union has said, why only BMC employees bore the burden.
"During elections and census, BMC employees including teachers are requisite. Willingly or unwillingly civic employees perform these additional duties. However why have the rules changed suddenly now during the coronavirus outbreak.
If BMC employees have been sharing the burden all along, its times State government employees be deployed on the pandemic related duties in Mumbai and other parts of the state and share the burden of municipal employees too," Bane said.
Earlier, the BMC was working at 50% strength following government guidelines. Differently abled staffers and those over 55 years with co-morbidities have been exempted from field duties.
However, with COVID-19 cases rising, the BMC had made it mandatory for all its staff to report to work last months, the circular was later retracted and the 100 per cent attendance was brought down to 75 per cent. Bane added, "Working day and night for past two months civic employees are now exhausted and need a break.
Home minister immediately sought central reinforcement in the form of CAPF deployment to Mumbai and other parts of the state to provide break to exhausted police force. We have demanded employees from state government be deployed at the earliest as it is also states responsibility to look after workers of BMC."
The move comes after several BMC officials have fallen prey to the deadly virus. More importantly due to its first victim in the BMC last month. A 49-year-old Madhukar Hariyan, an assessment inspector from G North ward engaged in food distribution in Dharavi tested positive following his death.
So far, around 10 security guards, 14 employees of the disaster control room and more than 30 employees of other departments deployed on Pandemic duty have fallen prey to the deadly coronavirus. "These are testing times and we all have additional duties to perform to contain the virus across the city.
We are not burdening any employee and we will try to help them if they complain of exhaustion. The matter will be discussed on department levels and we will try to resolve the matter at the earliest," said a senior BMC official.