With pourakarmikas reluctant to occupy the 32 quarters measuring 303 sqft that Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) built in phase one, the civic body has revised this area to 505 sqft for the flats to be built in the second and third phases.
In an informal chat with TOI on sidelines of Pourakarmika Day celebrations at the Town Hall on Wednesday, commissioner Akshy Sridhar said around 19 out of 32 beneficiaries selected have agreed to occupy the quarters. “Remaining 40% have asked for bigger tenements. These are basically 1-BHK dwelling units. Pourakarmikas find them too small for their families,” he said.
Premanand Shetty, chief whip of the ruling BJP said the average cost per unit is around Rs 7 lakh. The civic body in deciding to increase the dwelling area by an additional 202 sqft will have to shell out Rs 4 lakh more each on the remaining 64 flats. “We will dip into the 24% funds that civic bodies are required to set aside for welfare of SC/STs to meet this amount and give the pourakarmikas dwelling units as desired by them,” he said.
Akshy said MCC will proceed with phase two of the project once the pourakarmikas residing in the building vacate the same. “We are facing issues with few pourakarmikas who have superannuated from services, but are refusing to vacate the flat,” he said, adding MCC is not duty bound to provide them with quarters and will have to reason it out.
Earlier, lauding the role pourakarmikas played in keeping the city clean even at personal cost during the lock down, Akshy said MCC has plans to renovate the existing 12 ward offices. “We are looking to emulate the BBMP model where used containers were converted into mobile rest room cum toilets for pourakarmikas under CSR funding,” he said. If corporates come forward, such converted ward offices can be rolled out in multiple locations.
Paurakarmika leader Anil Kumar exhorted MCC to ensure that the civic workers had health security. The pourakarmikas are not receiving their salary on time and most of them are also not getting their retirement benefits on time, he lamented.