SMC fails a health check

Srinagar: From ground force to those who risk transporting the toxic wastes from the collection points to the dumping sites, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is ignoring them all-as no one is either vaccinated or provided any work gear.

The drivers are more exposed to the hazards of the waste than that of workers as they collect the same, but, what is shocking is that so far, not a single driver, working at the Corporation has been vaccinated, sources said.

When this reporter tried to confirm the breach, it came to the fore that in actuality this was happening. While talking to several drivers who have been assigned the job, said they were never vaccinated, even they questioned the need of getting vaccinated.

“I am working at SMC for last 4 years, and have been working as a driver since then, but I have never been vaccinated so far, and what is the need for this,” questioned Tariq Ahmad, a driver.

Notably, the work force at the corporation was not even made aware of the hazardous work they are involved in and the need to get vaccinated.

As reported earlier by this newspaper, the Corporation has also been violating norms by not vaccinating their work force on regular intervals. Corporation has been throwing the set guidelines for the health of its sanitation workers to the wind and has been playing with the lives of hundreds of its workers

In this scenario, Corporation is once again caught violating the norms and guidelines set by National Institute of Occupational Health.

As per guidelines the sanitation workers are required to put the “protective gear such as protective face mask, waterproof gloves, and rubber boots,” the scene which is totally missing on ground, and now adding the dimension of drivers who are falling prey to the callousness of the Corporation.

The guidelines further say that such workers need to vaccinate in due course of time for their protection from several diseases, which includes the drivers, who have spend a good amount of time, remaining in contact with the waste that they are carrying to the dumping sites.

As per sources, SMC has also failed in launching health awareness campaign on field, making aware the dealing officers about the health of the workers and impressing upon the need to keep a check on their workers, making sure that the workers get the required vaccinations, and work gear.

“Not a single thing of this sort is going on at the corporation, they don’t care about the health of their workers,” sources said.

Commissioner, SMC Riyaz Ahmad Wani did not respond to repeated calls from this reporter, he continuously kept rejecting the calls, even after informing him that this reporter wanted to talk about some important issue via a text message.



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