Given the size of the city, how many sanitation workers does Chandigarh need to remain clean? As per the information on the Muncipal Corporation website, the MC Health Department has a work force of 1652 safai karamcharis on regular pay-scales, 112 safaiwalas on daily wages; an additional 433 are employed by contractors. This adds up to 2197 workers engaged in collecting garbage and sweeping streets. Dividing the city population and the city area by the number of workers we see that one worker has to look after the santitation needs of about 480 people and an area of about half a square kilometer.
The MC Sanitation Committee says the load per man is too high and it is pushing to get sanction for employing more sanitation staff but so far they have not succeeded. Chairman and Congress Councillor H.C. Kalyan say the Public Health Department should not be blamed for poor performance so long as it is compelled to manage on insufficient staff.
Kalyan is also unhappy with the performance of contractors and their workers. He says the contractors don’t focus on the areas assigned to them because they are too busy lavishing maximum attention on the officers who handle their contracts.
Nominated councillor MP Kohli wants better monitoring and supervision of the existing staff.
Independent councillor Gurcharan Das Kala who represents Manimajra, believes that some areas of the city have more safai karamcharis than others. He says that only 60 regular safai karamcharis have been assigned to his area despite the fact that Manimajra has population of 2.5 lakh.
Staff shortage … poor monitoring and supervision … skewed distribution of labour force. These appear to be the three main problems plaguing the city’s sanitation work.
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