In an effort to empower transgenders, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to engage them in the operation and maintenance of cesspool vehicles, an official said on Thursday.
An agreement was signed on Wednesday between BMC and transgender TG Swikruti SHG for operation and maintenance of cesspool vehicles in the city in the presence of Mayor Sulochana Das and Commissioner Vijaya Amruta Kulange. The city civic body had involved transgender communities in different responsibilities like parking, defaulters’ tax collection and sanitation activities in the past.
At present, BMC has a fleet of nine cesspool vehicles to address the citizen requirement for emptying septic tanks and transporting the sludge to the faecal sludge treatment plant sites, officials said.
It was decided that seven of them will be handed over to TG Swikruti Group for their operation and maintenance. No performance security or monthly fee will be charged for entering into the agreement.
The Swikruti Group will engage one authorised driver and two helpers in each vehicle and pay at least the minimum applicable wages as notified for Core Sanitation workers under Garima scheme. Detail information of the staffs engaged shall be submitted by the transgender group to BMC, the agreement said.
Training will be imparted to all cesspool vehicle staff on dislodging service, health and hygiene, behaviour, PPE use and related protocols. Branding of vehicles will be as per directives of BMC. The transgender group will provide service as per prescribed service charge.
“We are happy with the new assignment that BMC has trust on us, we will fulfill it,” said Meghana Sahoo, the team leader of the group.