Safai Karmis Deprived For Four Months In Sabroom Nagar Panchayat Under South Tripura District

Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura

Agartala, June 05, 2021: As frontline warriors, ‘Safai Karmis’ are playing a significant role in the fight against Covid19. They are cleaning the roads, collecting waste materials from every household, shop and government-private establishments during COVID pandemic.

Although, Tripura government had provided masks and sanitizers, but it’s been reported Sabroom Nagar Panchayat ‘Safai Karmis’ are being deprived of monthly wages for last four months.

The work of collecting garbage from door-to-door in Sabroom Nagar Panchayat started since October, 2019. Accordingly, every family and shop living in the Sabroom Nagar Panchayat area are being charged with Rs 50, hotel, restaurant, or any government / private office are being charged Rs 200.

To collect this garbage from door-to-door, Sabroom Nagar Panchayat through its self-help group temporarily hired 26 cleaners and 03 supervisors and fixed their monthly salary at Rs 5,000.

Each of them have been going from door-to-door collecting garbage despite the outbreak of the pandemic. Surprisingly, in the current Covid-19 times, when both the government and the private sector are extending a helping hand to the poor, Sabroom Nagar Panchayat temporary door-to-door garbage collectors have not been paid their due for four months.

A Safai Karmi on the condition of anonymity told Northeast Today “About 26 of us were appointed in October, 2019 at a fixed pay of Rs 5000 while charges from families, shops and government and private establishments were fixed by the Nagar Panchayat and a society. For the last four months, it has been difficult for us to run our families as the local urban body is not providing us salaries. A total of Rs 20,000 is due for each one of us.”

In the meantime the Nagar Panchayat authorities have been collecting money from the citizens and traders living in the Nagar Panchayat area for cleaning up the garbage every month. Despite this, for some unknown reason the urban administration have withheld the salaries for the temporary workers for the last four months.

Sabroom NP official informed Northeast Today that the urban body had a contract with Atal Multipurpose Society dealing with Safai Karmis. But when the correspondent tried to contact the society, no one responded.

Moreover, the term of elected representatives in the urban bodies have expired and due to the pandemic, elections have not been conducted.

It remains to be seen when these temporary workers, who have been going from house to house collecting garbage and keeping the market area clean for four months without getting paid, will get their due salary.