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  Unpaid census staff face Black Diwali

Unpaid census staff face Black Diwali

| SURESH GOLANI
Published : Oct 23, 2016, 3:02 am IST
Updated : Oct 23, 2016, 3:02 am IST

Hundreds of census workers in the city who have been waiting to receive payments towards honorarium for more than three years are staring at yet another Black Diwali.

Hundreds of census workers in the city who have been waiting to receive payments towards honorarium for more than three years are staring at yet another Black Diwali.

Following government directions, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had deployed hundreds of enumerators led by a team of supervisors — most of them school teachers from private and civic educational institutions — to carry out head counts in the region for the socio-economic and caste-basedcensuslaunched in 2011.

After being paid a fraction of the dues as part payment for the completed job, they were once again roped in to conduct economiccensusin 2013 and later for conducting acensusof the Maratha community. Since then, the enumerators have been running pillar to post to get paid by the administration for their work. Stung by the official apathy, the census workers have now threatened to observe a Black Diwali and stage protests outside the civic chief’s office. “We burnt our skin in the scorching heat and worked so hard to complete censuswork in delegated blocks. Do we deserve such treatment ” questioned an enumerator from Bhayandar, Sonal Gosalia.

Attributing the hitch to delay in procuring funds from the central government, nodal officer for Census Operations, Vijay Patil, said, “It’s true dues towards honorarium of around 1,570 enumerators amounting to Rs 44 lakh for socio-economic and caste-based census had remained pending. However, we’ve received funds and process was on to transfer it into individual bank accounts of the enumerators whose list has been sought from concerned wards to clear dues before Diwali.”