Intensifying the battle against the contagion, the state government recruited a total of around 3,039 temporary sanitary inspectors through a private outsourcing firm.
Of them, 324 sanitary inspectors were taken in the month of April and 2,715 in May. They all were deputed in Chennai and different districts across the state for COVID-19 work.
“We quit our well paid jobs to join as sanitary inspectors for a monthly pay of Rs 27,000 to serve the public at this time of pandemic. We got our salary for just one month and haven’t received anything over the last two months. The Public Health Department officials give an evasive reply on the salary issue,” fumed a sanitary inspector from Tirupur.
“We were involved in risky tasks, including collecting swabs for testing, identifying COVID-19 positive patients and taking them to the hospital for admission. Also, the sanitary inspectors are tasked with identifying and monitoring the primary contacts, including family members of infected persons. Already many of our colleagues have been infected and were undergoing treatment in hospitals,” said another official.
Most of the sanitary inspectors have been deputed in different places away from the native home towns thus forcing them to pay for accommodation, food and incur fuel expenses for their transportation during work. “How do we manage all these expenses without any money? If there is further delay, we may be forced to look for alternative options,” he added.
Deputy Director of Health Services (Tirupur) K Jagadeesh Kumar said that the two months pending salary will be given to sanitary inspectors at once on receiving funds from the government. Tirupur Collector K Vijayakarthikeyan said that he will look into this issue.