Karnataka Govt Invokes ESMA Against Garbage Contractors, Sanitation Workers
Following complaints, the government imposed ESMA on the garbage contractors and sanitation workers for a year directing them to ensure that waste is removed from the city, a state government notification said.
Image for representation only (Courtesy: Reuters)
Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Saturday invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against garbage contractors and sanitation workers employed under them following complaints that they were not discharging their duties.
The garbage problem has turned worse in the city recently as the contractors have allegedly stopped removing the waste, causing a huge pileup that has left many important places stinking and brought the city civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike in the line of fire, a state government notification said.
Following complaints, the government imposed ESMA on the garbage contractors and sanitation workers for a year directing them to ensure that waste is removed from the city, it said.
They have been directed toensure that the workers, known as Paurakarmikas, auto-tipper drivers, compactor loaders and others working under them to work without fail.
Meanwhile, the Environment Support Group, fighting for the cause of Paurakarmikas, said in a release that the workers, mainly daily wagers, known as'contract Pourakarmikas,' were showing up for work.
"But they are being threatened, abused, blocked and turned away from work by the private contractors who are on strike protesting the decision to end their corrupt and highly exploitative privatised solid waste management system," it said.
Meanwhile, alleging a "mega garbage scam" involving an amount of Rs 688 crore in the civic body here, the city unit of the BJP on Saturday lodged a complaint with the Lokayukta and Anti-Corruption Bureau against Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and minister K J George.
N R Ramesh, the BJP city unit spokesperson, has also lodged a complaint with the Bengaluru Metropolitan Task Force and in the court of the additional chief metropolitan magistrate here over the alleged scam.
He claimed that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)had spent Rs 1,066 crore on waste disposal in the 2016-17 financial year, whereas its expenditure on that count in the previous financial year (2015-16) was Rs 385 crore.
"There is a steep rise of Rs 688 crore in the spending on waste disposal. The monthly spending on solid waste management (SWM) now is Rs 88.87 crore. Thus, the BBMP will once again spend Rs 1,066.44 crore by this (2017-18) financial year-end. It is almost a 265-per cent increase," Ramesh said.
He further explained that though the difference between Rs 1066.44 crore and Rs 385 crore was Rs 681.44 crore, the amount involved in the alleged scam was Rs 688 crore on account of other irregularities in the BBMP.
Siddaramaiah and George, the minister for Bengaluru development and town planning, were not available for comments.
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