BENGALURU: As the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has failed to ensure PPE kits, drinking water, sanitisation of work equipment for pourakarmikas, the workers have decided to go on an indefinite protest starting from Tuesday. They will be wearing a black band during work and will protest twice a day at their centres from 6.30 am to 11.30 am. So far, 50 of them have tested positive and five have died of Covid.Pourakarmikas complained that the BBMP hasn’t started thermal testing at all and isn’t arranging institutional quarantine facilities for workers who test positive. They also claim that the Palike has not conducted random testing for workers.
Nirmala, President of the BBMP Pourakarmika Sangha said, “No PPE kits have been given so far. Only gloves and masks were provided, that too just about four times since the pandemic, after which pourakarmikas have been using their own. They haven’t been provided changing and washing rooms and toilets in all mustering centres. BBMP gives them breakfast but it’s not good and has worms in it sometimes.”
The union said the situation of garbage vehicle drivers and helpers are worse as they haven’t been paid for three months and haven’t received any equipment to protect them against Covid.BBMP Solid Waste Management Special Commissioner, Randeep D said, “There are gaps, but we had addressed it. We did a screening initially and have also given them all the equipment. We have assigned a separate biomedical waste contractor. What we need to do is ask the contractors of garbage collectors to provide them with all the necessary equipment.”Some other demands include that no pourakarmika should be forced to collect garbage from containment zones and setting up a helpline to lodge their grievances during the pandemic.