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Maratha reservation: BMC services hit as staff takes on survey

Updated on: 25 January,2024 07:01 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

Over 30,000 of 92,000 employees deployed for the nine-day job

Maratha reservation: BMC services hit as staff takes on survey

The BMC had started the survey exercise on January 23. Pic/Atul Kamble

Key Highlights

  1. Operations of the BMC have been hit hard
  2. Civic body has also appointed assistant engineers and assistant officers as supervisors
  3. The Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission is carrying out the survey

Operations of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have been hit hard, as more than a third of its employees—30,000 of the total 92,000 employees—have been deployed to conduct the Maratha backward class survey between January 23 and 31 in Mumbai. Apart from all the Class-B and C clerical staff, the civic body has also appointed assistant engineers and assistant officers as supervisors due to a shortage of clerical staff for the survey.

The Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission is carrying out the survey between January 23 and 31 to assess the social, educational and economic status of the Maratha community and other backward classes in the state. In Mumbai, the BMC is responsible for the survey. “There are 92,000 employees in the BMC, of which 30,000 are on survey duty… it is just a nine-day issue,” said Sudhakar Shinde, additional commissioner, BMC.

The survey needed skills like filling forms on tablets, so the BMC appointed clerical staff for the exercise. “There are around 28,000 Class-3 employees including teachers, clerks etc. We keep paramedical staff and emergency staff out of this activity and so we had to appoint assistant engineers and administrative officers as supervisors to fill the gap,” said a civic official.

However, this has impacted BMC operations. All wards and departments are empty as most of the staff (excluding peons and security staff) is on survey duty. There is also a Maratha reservation rally expected in Mumbai on January 26, for which the BMC will have to make appropriate arrangements. “We have other staff and the emergency services won’t be affected. We will manage it,” said Shinde.

39 lakh houses to visit

There are around 39 lakh houses in the city and the staff will visit each house for the survey. Every employee has a target to cover 150 families. The workforce deployed for the task needs to cover more than 4 lakh houses each day in order to visit all the homes within nine days. On the first day, the survey was conducted in 2.65 lakh houses.

Meanwhile, the BMC administration has appealed to citizens that their staff—bearing an official letter from the ward office—be allowed into housing complex premises and that their survey questions be answered. “There is a need to sign on a blank paper to certify the information given and then the paper will be uploaded on the tab. The paper will be returned. The information will be kept private and won’t be shared with anyone except the commission,” said Shinde.

Citizens, staff not serious

The families that already receiving reservation benefits will have to answer five or six questions. However, all other families will have to answer around 160-182 questions. The BMC officials said it would take around 30 minutes to an hour for all the questions to be answered. But citizens are not willing to spend so much time.

A resident of the Shivaji Park area in Dadar said the BMC staff visited the vicinity on Wednesday. “While a few families were reluctant to give answers, my neighbour gave answers for 10 minutes after which he told civic staff it was taking too long and stopped answering.”

Meanwhile, a resident of Pratiksha Nagar in Sion said that the staff visited their homes on Tuesday and briefly filled up the forms without much scrutiny. “Earning members of the family had left home early for work and the senior citizens and children were not able to give answers.”

Sanjay Joshi, a resident of Runwal Symphony at Vakola, said, “The survey staff came to my home on Tuesday. We have North Indian, Catholic and Punjabi neighbours on our floor. The civic staff took information from all, which is time-consuming and not related to the survey. I informed them that I belong to a nomadic tribe but even then they put me in the open category. Then I had to explain to them. If they are so reluctant to do the survey properly then what is the point of doing it?” 

No of BMC employees  involved in the survey

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