Mumbai: Staff crunch issues at post mortem centres to get worse

The staff crunch woes at the four post mortem centres of the city, ran by state the government, is slated to get worse as the opening of a new post mortem centre has clashed with the suspension order of nine of the staff members.

While sources confirmed that the suspension is a disciplinary action, taken because of the attempt of 65 workers to create a union to address their issues, allegations point out that its an attempt by the police surgeon to suppress the voices of the staff by taking strict action against those who were spearheading the union proposal. At the same time, residents are slated to have some hard time as a remaining 54 employees, already under the threat of action, will also have to manage the additional centre being inaugurated at Sidhharth Hospital, Goregaon by next week.

Talking to mid-day, one of the staff members said that the suspension order of the employees was issued during the week and a total of nine employees were suspended out of total 65 overnight. “The employees had joined a union named as Sarvashramik Sangh ran by one Milind Ranade to take up their issues. The staff members were apparently facing issues due to poor quality of equipments provided by the department, staff crunch and increasing pressure. However, the department has taken a strict step towards their attempt to join hands with the union,” said the doctor on the condition of anonymity.

One of the nine individuals, suspended in the procedure said that they were issued the orders on February 24 with no specific timeline to join back to service. “We are preparing our defense against the order. Action was taken against all those who were the torchbearers of the union joining procedure. I don’t understand what’s wrong in making our sides heard,” said the employee.

While, at one end, nine out of a total 65 employees are forced to sit at home due to the action taken by their superiors, the department has plans to inaugurate another post mortem centre at Sidhharth Hospital of Goregaon, which is stuck amidst the controversies since past three years. Existing staff members said that while they are already terrified due to the probability of action, which can be taken against them, opening of a new centre is slated to add more pressure on them.

“There are a total of 54 employees handling four centers right now. One more centre, which has 12 police stations under its ambit, is going to be busy being in the suburban area and it will be very difficult for us to divide the staff and keep all the centres functioning at the same time. Many of these are nearing retirement and there is no proposal to hire any employees as of now. Residents are slated for hiccups as staff crunch resulted due to the suspension will delay post mortems further,” said a senior forensic expert.

All the nine workers are slated to give explanations to the enquiry committee formed of the state government and give reasons behind them joining hands with an outside body to voice out their issues.

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