Bengaluru: Manholes are overflowing across the city but there are not enough sanitary workers to repair them despite repeated complaints to the water board by the residents.
While the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board needs at least 10 sanitary workers for each of the 198 wards in the city, there is only one sanitary worker per ward as of now.
The city with a population of close to one crore has only 171 permanent sanitary workers and 300 on contract. Mr Gangadhar of the BWSSB Sanitary Workers' Union said, “How can the city maintain its sanitation with less than 500 sanitary workers? We need at least 2,000 workers.”
In 1982, BWSSB had 450 sanitary workers when the population was around 30 lakh and its area of operation was not more than 200 sqkm. But now, Bengaluru's population is close to a crore, while the area has crossed 800 sqkm. Despite this, the number of sanitary workers has remained the same, Mr Gangadhar commented.
“We have repeatedly pressured the board to hire more workers and to regularise contract workers. BWSSB Chairman Tushar Girinath has accepted our demands and has asked us to wait for sometime,” he said.
But BWSSB Chief Engineer Kemparamaiah maintained that the board has enough sanitary workers. “The work is affected not because of shortage of workers. Water board recently took around 1,500 men for various cadres on contract. Of them, 300 are solely for sanitary work."...