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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on 2 July said that the state government will regularise services of Pourakarmikas working on direct payment.

The following move was announced after pourakarmikas across the state launched an indefinite strike for the regularisation of their services at Freedom Park in Bengaluru from 1 July.

"The state government will regularise services of Pourakarmikas working on direct payment. We have agreed to extend social security, medical service, and assistance for the education of children of Pourakarmikas. Necessary rules will be formulated during the next assembly session," Bommai told reporters on 2 July.

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According to the demand of pourakarmikas, they are seeking dignified working conditions, provision of safety equipment, post-retirement benefits, and permanency of jobs, along with other welfare measures. They alleged that the issues have been consistently ignored by the state government.

Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party joined the protest by pourakarmikas. "AAP in Delhi and Punjab has encouraged pourakarmikas to participate in the elections and win them. This has given political strength to the sentiments of pourakarmikas. However, in Karnataka, BJP has turned blind to the problems and pains of pourakarmikas. The BJP government is stubborn by not responding to repeated protests of pourakarmika," Karnataka AAP president Prithvi Reddy said.

AAP state vice-president Bhaskar Rao demanded that the jobs of pourakarmikas must be made permanent.

"If pourakarmikas refuse to work even for a single day, the waste disposal problem will worsen and people will have to close their noses. Sanitation workers, including cleaners and sweepers, are paid a meagre salary. They are unable to meet their basic needs with this salary. So, their jobs must be made permanent," said Rao.

Earlier in 2017, the Siddaramaiah government had proposed in the cabinet to regularise pourakarmikas, which was approved but implementation failed.

With PTI inputs

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