Coronavirus Pandemic

India: Delhi's sanitation workers account for half of deaths of 3 civic bodies

Web Report/New Delhi
Filed on May 28, 2021
PTI file photo

94 employees of the MCD have so far died due to Covid and 49 of them were sanitation workers.

Sanitation workers account for more than half the deaths of civic employees in Delhi in the battle against Covid-19, according to an estimate.

Ninety-four employees of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) have so far died due to Covid-19 and 49 of them were sanitation workers, according to data accessed by a newspaper. The MCD includes three civic bodies spanning across north, south and east Delhi.

About 50,000 sanitation workers – both permanent and temporary – are employed by the MCDs primarily for collecting garbage. However, since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic last year, they have also been engaged in sanitisation-related work.

Though many workers are busy collecting garbage and cleaning up places, some are exposed and do not even wear masks. According to Rajendra Mewati, a union leader of the workers, masks and sanitisers are given only to supervisors and those actually working on the streets do not have access to them.

Mewati also demanded that the compensation of Rs10 million to the family of the sanitation worker who succumbed to Covid must be handed out within a week. The dependent must also be given a permanent job immediately. According to him, in one or two cases, top officials hand out the benefits mainly to be covered in photo sessions. But in most cases there are inordinate delays.

Besides the sanitation workers, the MCD has also reported the death of 13 healthcare workers including five doctors. The education department has reported seven deaths including four teachers, two principals and a school attendant.

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