Civic officials issued show-cause notice over poor quality uniforms
Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak issued show cause notice to Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Technical) Sunil Kesari and a couple of officials from the storage department for alleged purchase and distribution of substandard uniforms to class IV female workers.
Sources in the storage department said notices were issued to the department head Jayant Pawar and Executive Engineer Srikrishna Chaudhary.
A source in the PMC said there were frequent demands for uniforms from the workers, but every year the tendering process would be delayed and eventually scrapped. “Every year, a budget of Rs 10 crore is set aside for buying the uniforms. But it lapsed from 2009 to 2011 due to non-availability of uniforms.
This year the tendering process was undertaken and uniforms for female workers were purchased for Rs 4.74 lakh. The employees later complained that the uniforms they had received were of poor quality. When we inquired about the uniforms and sent them to a laboratory in Mumbai for a quality test, it came to the fore that the cloth used for the uniforms was of poor quality,” the source said.
In the show cause notice, the civic chief also demanded an explanation from the officials about the non-procurement of uniforms from 2009 to 2011. “We distributed the uniforms quickly without conducting tests. We had ordered for 30,000 sarees, of which 10,000 were distributed. We can penalise the contractors by not returning their deposits they have kept with the PMC,” Jayant Pawar said.
General Secretary of Pune Municipal Workers Union Mukta Manohar said it was mandatory for the civic body to give three sarees to all the class IV female workers thrice every two years. “Male employees are also entitled to get similar quantity of uniforms. But for the last few years, the employees have been pleading for their uniforms,” Manohar said.
Srikrishna Chaudhary said the union had pressurised them for uniforms and therefore they had to distribute them immediately. “We had tested the quality of the cloth at the time of tendering and therefore we passed it. However, uniforms can be returned and accordingly, we will send our answer to the show cause notice issued by the municipal commissioner,” Chaudhary said.