Safai workers say no to online attendance, MCG to hold talks


Gurgaon: The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram’s (MCG) pilot project to monitor attendance of sanitation workers online has hit a roadblock barely one month after its rollout in August with the staff and contractors strongly opposing it.
Under the system devised to track job attendance and adherence to uniform among others, one multi-purpose health worker (MPHW) from the civic body was assigned for each area (beat) to tabulate the total number of sanitation workers deputed and the actual number of workers present on the ground.
The MPHW is also tasked to upload online the details — group photograph of employees present, those wearing uniform, number of earthmovers, tractors and rickshaws available on the site, photograph of the manual register maintained, among others. The civic body maintained that the online system would not only ensure full attendance of workers but also improve sanitation across the city.
According to the sanitation employees’ union, there are approximately 6,000 sanitation workers for the 35 civic wards. Of the total, around 3,000 are on contract workers and the rest are on MCG payroll.
Hariom Attri, MCG joint commissioner (headquarters), told TOI, that workers had opposed the system to track attendance and upload it online. “So, we have decided to defer the project for some time and hold a meeting with the employees’ union so that the system can be resumed.”
The new system, Attri said, sought to ensure 100% attendance of the sanitation workers. “Under the current manual system, we have noticed that some workers mark their attendance in the register and leave without doing their job. The new system proposed to record attendance twice daily through photographs taken on the spot, leaving no room for irregularity,” Attri added.
Haryana’s Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangh, the employees’ union, however, claimed that they were opposing the online tracking system as they did not want an MPHW worker to keep a check on the sanitation workers.
“Instead of an outsider coming and tracking our attendance, we want an employee MCG’s sanitation department to do this. There are sanitation workers who have been working for the city for more than a decade. The only demand is that someone from MCG’s sanitation department should do it,” Naresh Malkat, the state secretary of the Sangh, said.
With the employees’ opposition, the MCG may have to revert to the manual roster system. Under it, an attendance register maintained for sanitation staff at every beat has to be first signed by the supervisor of the contractor, who provides outsourced workers, and then countersigned by the MCG’s supervisor before being sent to the sanitary inspector concerned by the end of each day.
Local residents, meanwhile, pointed out that the MCG should introduce the system as it could ensure that sanitation workers not just reported to work but actually did the job.
Lalit Suraj Bhola, United Gurugram residents’ welfare association (RWA) convener, told TOI, “The civic corporation should implement the online attendance tracking system without fail. Sanitation workers disappear after attendance is marked. It seems they have some kind of arrangement with their contractors and are able to escape work. It reflected across the city — heaps of garbage are strewn everywhere and weeds are jutting out for every corner. Implementing an online system to monitor their attendance is essential.”
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