Around 70 workers alleged the company had replaced them though the company denies having done so
PANJIM: Around 70 workers employed with Drishti Marine camped at Paryatan Bhavan on Friday morning accusing the beach cleaning contractors of replacing them with non-Goan workers.
The aggrieved workers, who were backed by NCP’s State Vice President Rajendra Satelkar and Andrea Pereira of NGO Hope Foundation, alleged the contractor had terminated their service to rope-in non-Goan workers for the beach cleaning activity. A delegation led by Satelkar and Pereira met Tourism Director Menino D’Souza demanding the Goan workers be taken back into the service.
“The beach cleaning contractor has removed our Goans and hired non-Goan workers. They have deployed bouncers and police personnel at Morjim beach. The aggrieved 67 workers approached me for justice and thus we decided to talk to you,” Satelkar told D’Souza in a short meeting on Friday.
The NCP leader also brought to the notice of the department that several Goan workers were solely dependent on this work to support their children’s education. “If they are thrown out of the job, who will bear expenses of their children’s education. We urge you to ensure these people are taken back in service,” he added.
The Tourism Director assured the department would inquire into the matter and try to solve the matter amicably by Monday. “Since it is a private agency, we will inquire into the allegations made against them (beach contractor). The agency is temporarily appointed to look into the beach cleaning exercise. If the matter is amicably resolved then fine because there are various other issues related to this. I will have to hear the other party also. I will call for a meeting of both the delegation on Monday,” he said. The workers left the venue following the assurance.
The tourism department had last November approved continuing of services of Drishti for ‘comprehensive management of cleanliness on the beaches of Goa’ till March 31, 2019 after the agency stopped beach cleaning from November 13 sans any intimation about extending their terms of the service.
their stance on the matter
Drishti in a statement issued later on Friday rejected the allegations claiming that as per the requirement of 30 resources along the Ashvem-Morjem stretch, the jobs were offered but it was refused.
“After Drishti resumed beach cleaning along the coast we have hired resources along the beach stretches of Goa to collect, segregate and transport the garbage in a scientific manner. We are doing grid by grid cleaning and have allotted resources accordingly. Our requirement along the Ashvem and Mandrem beach stretch is 30 resources. We have offered 30 jobs but the offer was refused requesting for all 60 recruited earlier to be taken back failing which no work will be permitted to happen on the beaches. Drishti has continued, despite the hurdles, to work round the clock at odd hours (when minimum disturbance can be caused) to keep the stretch from Keri to Morjim clean. Wet waste collection continues to happen as per schedule and beach cleaning using a mobile team on 4x4 boleros,” the statement said.