Yet to get special salary that CM promised, say COVID warriors

In the third week of March, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami informed the State Assembly that the doctors, nurses and paramedics involved in treating COVID-19 patients at government hospitals across the State would get a special salary of one month to honour their services.
File Photo
File Photo


This was to be given to sanitary workers, too. However, April has passed and May has come, but the special salary is yet to be released. Even the process to issue a government order in this regard is yet to be completed, official sources told DT Next.
“We don’t want the floral showers through helicopters; please give us adequate masks, PPEs and the promised salaries. The internship of the medical graduates was extended due to COVID, but they are not paid any stipend or salaries. Is this not a serious violation by the government robbing the labour of young physicians,” fumed a government doctor in Chennai, adding that there was no clarity on the special pay announced by the CM till now.
“The State continues to ignore the dedicated contribution of those fighting against corona. All the workers starting from doctors to sanitary workers are risking their lives like soldiers. Whoever is posted on COVID duty, temporary or permanent, should be paid as per the announcement,” said Dr G Ravindranath, general secretary, Doctors Association for Social Equality.
The situation is same at Greater Chennai Corporation, Animal Husbandry and Forest department where salaries and payments are delayed for the temporary workers and those on contracts.
“Special salary announced by the CM is not yet paid. About 10,000 temporary sanitary workers are yet to get their regular salary for last month. We have given a representation to the Corporation top brass seeking our salaries,” said S Purushothaman, general secretary, Chennai Managaratchi Anaithu Uzhiyar Sangam.
“Salary for February, March and April is pending in Dindigul, Pudukkottai, The Nilgiris, Cuddalore, Tiruchy, Madurai, Sivaganga, Tiruvarur and Thanjavur, while salary was credited in Kanniyakumari, Ranipet, Tiruppattur, and Kallakurichi districts,” said a veterinary surgeon. He added that the veterinarians treating livestock have not been salaries or even essentials like N 95 masks, sanitisers and gloves.
When contacted, a senior government official said that the cash inflow was affected, with the State pumping money into Health department and local bodies for corona related expenses. “It may take some more days for the government to credit the promised honorarium to those fighting against COVID,” the official said.

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