VIJAYAWADA: At a time when Indrakeeladri is getting all decked up to conduct the five-day Bhavani Deeksha, officials of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) have decided not to deploy their sanitation staff during the festivity organised by Kanaka Durga temple. So what forced the civic body to take such a decision? Temple authorities have failed to clear dues of sanitation workers (amounting to Rs 78 lakh) who discharged their duties during Dasara and Bhavani deeksha relinquishment.
According to VMC officials, Kanaka Durga temple authorities had approached the public health department after observing the cleanliness maintained during Krishna Pushkaralu and sought the deployment of sanitation workers during Dasara and Bhavani deeksha relinquishment. VMC officials deployed around 1,500 sanitation workers near the bathing ghats, prasadam counters, Kanaka Durga Nagar and on the premises of Indrakeeladri during the festivities.
A proposal had been sent to Kanaka Durga temple regarding the wages of the sanitation staff which amounted to `75 lakh. Though they agreed to pay, they have not yet released the amount.
VMC health officer Babu Srinivasan said that the corporation is not financially stable to pay wages to the sanitation staff who are to be deployed for special duties during the festivity organised by Kanaka Durga temple.
The previous year also, VMC had deployed sanitation staff during Dasara festival and Bhavani Deeksha relinquishment but the temple officials had not paid the dues amounting to Rs 78 lakh. ‘’If the temple pay the wages, the corporation has no objection to deploy sanitation staff for Bhavani Deeksha,” said Srinivasan.
Claim of temple authorities
Temple authorities claim that around 120 temple staff are already taking care of cleanliness on the premises of Indrakeeladri on normal days. Devotee turnout increases during the festivities and sanitation is accorded top priority by the devasthanam. They also said that the State Government has to pay funds to the temple which are yet to be cleared. A meeting will be convened with VMC officials and bills would be cleared in a phased manner.