Taloja jail to hold med­i­cal camps for its pris­on­ers

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVIMUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hind­stan­times.com

A pre-poll gim­mick of the Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party that passed a res­o­lu­tion in the NMMC gen­eral body propos­ing per­ma­nent jobs for con­tract work­ers of NMMC per­ma­nent has been ex­posed .

Mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Di­nesh Waghmare and mayor Sud­hakar Son­awane now say that it is not pos­si­ble. The gen­eral body of Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion ( NMMC) had on Au­gust 8, 2014, prior to the Lok Sabha elec­tions unan­i­mously ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion to make around 9,500 con­tract work­ers work­ing in its var­i­ous de­part­ments on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

The house had unan­i­mously ap­proved the pro­posal with the op­po­si­tion too sup­port­ing it. NMMC had then sent the res­o­lu­tion to the state gen­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment de­part­ments for ap­proval.

The Shiv Sena del­e­ga­tion led by its deputy leader Vi­jay Na­hata and op­po­si­tion leader Vi­jay Chougule, raised the is­sue on Fri­day. Waghmare said, “The con­tract work­ers can­not be made per­ma­nent as the Supreme Court has laid guide­lines for ap­point­ment and which can­not be im­ple­mented in case of th­ese work­ers.”

He said, “We have formed a com­mit­tee of ex­perts un­der the mayor to look into the is­sue of com­mon wages for com­mon work. It is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the con­trac­tor to give them mini- mum wages.”

Waghmare said, “We are look­ing into the le­gal an­gles through which in­creased com­pen­sa­tion can be given to the con­trac­tors for en­abling in­creased pay­ment to the work­ers.”

Rul­ing out per­ma­nent jobs for the work­ers, Son­awane said, “Per­ma­nent jobs can­not be given as 80% of the work­ers are over the age of 50 and hence do not qual­ify. Should we im­ple­ment the pol­icy for only 20% work­ers and sack the rest?”

He added that the NMMC is the only civic body that has been giv­ing com­mon wages for com­mon work.

“We are look­ing at ways to help in­crease their wages and we are com­mit­ted to it. No de­ci­sion will be taken in a hurry,” said Son­awane.

In an ef­fort to un­der­stand the phys­i­cal con­di­tion of their in­mates, the Taloja jail au­thor­i­ties have de­cided to con­duct free med­i­cal camps reg­u­larly.

The jail au­thor­i­ties are co­or­di­nat­ing with a pri­vate hos­pi­tal in Vashi and the first camp is likely to be con­ducted next week.

As of now, there are around 1,800 in­mates in the jail. Many of them are suf­fer­ing from dis­eases such as high blood pres­sure, jaun­dice, di­a­betes, poor eye sights among oth­ers.

A week ago, 54-year-old un­der­trial pris­oner, Su­raj Ba­tra, died in the jail hos­pi­tal. Ba­tra, a real es­tate agent from Kharghar, had been ar­rested for his al­leged in­volve­ment in the mur­der of the Meenakshi Jaiswal, for­mer chair­per­son of Maharashtra State Child Right Com­mis­sion, in 2014.

Ba­tra had been suf­fer­ing from dis­eases such as di­a­betes, high blood pres­sure among oth­ers for the past three months and had been un­der­go­ing treat­ment at NMMC hos­pi­tal in Vashi and JJ hos­pi­tal in Mum­bai.

“We will try to find out the ma­jor and mi­nor health is­sues of the in­mates through this camp,” said a jail of­fi­cial.

“It may, how­ever, not be pos­si­ble to carry equip­ment to the jail from the hos­pi­tal. There­fore those who are sus­pected to have ma­jor is­sues will be sent to hos­pi­tal later,” he added.

The jail au­thor­i­ties, how­ever, said that they are not or­gan­is­ing this camp just be­cause an in­mate died in the jail last week.

“Su­raj Ba­tra had se­ri­ous health is­sues and he was un­der­go­ing treat­ment for that. He did not die be­cause of neg­li­gence,” an­other of­fi­cial said.

The Taloja jail can ac­com­mo­date a to­tal of 2,124 in­mates. Of the 1,800 in­mates, around 60% of them are from the places such as Mum­bai, Thane, Kalyan, Dom­bivli among oth­ers.

Sev­eral mem­bers of t he un­der­world gangs such as Ch­hota Ra­jan, Ravi Pu­jari and Bharat Nepali have been kept in the jail.

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