The Telangana Chief Minister had promised an incentive of Rs 7,500 as a ‘bonus’ to thank the work done by sanitation staff in the fight against COVID-19.

 A sanitation worker wearing PPE kit was seen pulling the dustbin cart on the road beside vehiclesImage for representation.. PTI
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 18:50

"I salute every sanitation worker for keeping every village, town and city clean, and thus protecting people from COVID-19." 

These were the words of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao during a press meet in April, where he announced that his government would be giving Rs 7,500 each month, as an ‘incentive’ -- over and above the salaries of sanitation workers, as a token of gratitude. 

However, for the sanitation staff working under the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB), they say that the promise has remained unfulfilled as they have only received the incentive once, for the month of March. 

Speaking to TNM, M Narasimha, president of the SCB contract workers association, says, “We received the bonus amount only for March, in April. We have not received anything after that, while the sanitation staff of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have received it for May as well.”

KCR had said that the bonus would apply for sanitation workers with the GHMC, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB), while those working under municipalities and village panchayats would get an incentive of Rs 5,000.

Though the SCB is considered a local municipal authority that functions under the Ministry of Defence and works as a local self-government, its jurisdiction falls within GHMC limits. As a result, the workers of SCB say that they are also entitled to the incentive of Rs 7,500 each month.

“We get a salary of Rs 16,354 of which we get about Rs 14,000 in hand. The other members of our families who are working in various fields have lost their income due to the pandemic and we thought that the incentive would come handy in these difficult times. We pinned our hopes on it, but we are disappointed now,” a contract worker from SCB said on the condition of anonymity.

After receiving orders from the state government for the first month, the SCB disbursed the money to contractors, who in turn, paid the bonus to workers through cash. 

When contacted, authorities of the SCB said that they were awaiting government orders to release the incentive for the subsequent months. 

“We are yet to receive orders from the government. We will give it as soon as we get the orders," an official from the SCB told TNM, when asked about the delay.

 

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