Nov. 4, Srinagar: Officials announced today that the Health & Medical Education (H&ME) Department has disengaged all part-time sweepers who were hired without following the proper procedures.
According to a directive from Shakoor Ahmad, Deputy Secretary to the Government, Health & Medical Education Department, hiring part-timers as sweepers at healthcare facilities was not in line with the present practice of outsourcing sanitation services and lacked enough budget allocation.
This led to the continuation of these sweepers’ services without a valid reason. The job is now being handled by an outside contractor, although the part-time sweepers’ services were maintained without any financing source, budget, or head. Thus, an order states that there is no need or legal basis for keeping these part-time sweepers on staff.
According to the order, some part-time sweepers were hired by the subordinate offices to do sanitation work at healthcare facilities without following the proper procedures.
Furthermore, the government outsourced the sanitation process in government offices, including the Health Department. As a result, the part-time sweepers who worked in health institutions did not receive their wages because they were not covered by a regular budget allocation, and because of this, the funds were unavailable.
Due to the lack of compensation, the majority of part-time sweepers filed lawsuits in court to get their wages released. The court granted the petitioners’ request for wage release in the cases of Mehraj Din Kumar and others vs. Mr. Pawan Kotwal & Others and other cases of a similar nature.
As a result of the aforementioned, and in continuation of this office letter No. HD- Lgal/187/2023-02 (CC-7220191) dated 19.09.2023, I am directed to advise you to disengage all part-time sweepers who were engaged without following due process right away and identify the officers/officials who were in charge of the same so that disciplinary action, if required by rules, may be taken against them for making such engagements without following proper procedure, the order continued.