Visakhapatnam: EAS Sarma, IAS, former secretary to Government of India, has written to Andhra Pradesh Panchayatraj Department Principal Secretary Gopal Krishna Dwivedi complaining that the sanitation workers, who are frontline warriors during the Covid times, have not been paid their salaries for fifteen months. He said he had written several letters which did not move the authorities and the poor sanitation workers are suffering as they are not paid their salaries for months together.Though he is writing about sanitary staff working at Paravada Mandal of Visakhapatnam district, the situation could be the same throughout the State, the IAS office wondered. He asked the principal secretary to arrange payment of the salary by obtaining special budgetary sanction.
Here is the full text of the letter written by Sarma to Dwivedi:
“Dear Shri Dwivedi,
“My letters dated 12-9-2019, 15-9-2019, 3-10-2019 & 16-6-2020 refer. Copies of the letters are enclosed.
“Please refer to the news report (https://www.andhrajyothy.com/telugunews/hunger-cries-of-sanitation-workers-1921051011104733) on sanitation workers not getting their salaries in Paravada Mandal of Visakhapatnam district.
“In 15 Panchayats, 50 sanitation workers have not received their salaries for the last 13 months!
“These sanitation workers are front line workers in the ongoing Covid campaign. Despite endangering their own lives, they discharge their duties faithfully to maintain the villages clean. It is a matter of shame that the Panchayat Raj Dept, despite my several appeals over the last two years, should display such utter disregard and insensitivity to the plight of the sanitation workers. I get the feeling that the situation is the same across the State. In most Panchayats, revenue collected from the tax-payers stands misappropriated and, despite my bringing this to the notice of your department more than once, no investigations are carried out and prosecution proceedings initiated.
“I request you to order the payment of salaries to all sanitation workers forthwith, if necessary by seeking a special budgetary allocation for the purpose, failing which I will be constrained to seek judicial intervention. Your department should order immediate action against the officers responsible, including the district officials who are expected to supervise the Panchayat Raj administration.”