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Families of deceased Safai-Karamcharis face existential threat
SRO-43 cases pending, families get recovery notices for bank loans
2/19/2020 9:05:57 PM
Avinash Azad

Early Times Report

Jammu, Feb 19: An existential threat is looming over around three dozen families of Safai-Karamcharis, who are getting regular recovery notices from the lender banks, to pay the loans secured by their family members, who died before repaying the same.
The kins of the deceased Safai-Karamcharis have been waiting for a job under compassionate appointment rule (SRO-43) of J&K government but their files have been pending at various stages from respective municipal committees to Civil Secretariat of Union Territory of J&K, leaving the families under double burden of earning bread and butter for extended families and tension to repay loans.
Bhushan Lal, a Safai-Karamchari had been working in Municipal Committee Akhnoor of district Jammu for over two decades and had been earning bread for family of four members. He had secured a home loan of Rs. 3.50 Lakhs and had paid just few installments but on 1 September, 2019, tragedy struck to the family, when Bhushan Lal died of drowning in river Chenab.
Wife of Bhushan Lal, Sunita Devi is a house lady while her 17 years old son is working in a cloth house in Akhnoor. In a meager salary of Rs. 5000, the family was making both the ends meet with great difficulties, often relying on getting loans from relatives. The constant tension of completing the house was hovering over the family but in the meantime, the family also started getting recovery notices from a bank for the unpaid loan, taken by Bhushan Lal.
“It is very difficult to make both ends meet but now Bank representatives have been sending notices to repay the loan. Without getting a job in place of my father, how can we pay the loan”, Rahul Kumar, son of Bhushan said, adding that his file under SRO-43 was submitted to Akhnoor Municipality but due to some deficiencies the higher authorities had returned the file back and it was up-to the local authorities to complete the file and gave a job.
Rahul Kumar is not alone, who is not getting job in place of his father but there are over three dozen families of Safai-Karamcharis, whose family members had been working with Municipal authorities and died but their family members didn’t get the job as th
33 SRO-43 cases Safai Karamcharis pending
Districts Municipal Pending
Committees Cases

Jammu Akhnoor 3
Samba Samba 1
Bari Brahamana 1
Kathua Kathua 1
Basohli 1
Udhampur Udhampur 1
Ramnagar 1
Rajouri Rajouri 2
SunderBani 1
Poonch Poonch 1
Reasi Reasi 2
ir files have been pending in the offices for years together.
“I and my husband had taken two separate home loans but the sudden death of my husband due to heart attack on 25th of October 2019, deeply shattered the family on emotional as well as economical front. Now I’m unable to pay bank installments of Rs. 12,000 every month and take care of the seven members’ family’ requirements simultaneously from my meager salary of Rs. 23,000 per month”, said Bina, a sanitation worker of Municipal Committee Samba, adding that she had not received any kind of help after the death of her husband Patras (35).
“Since the death of my husband, SRO-43 case of my son is pending with Municipal Committee Samba. It is learnt that the Directorate of Urban Local Bodies (DULB) Jammu has returned the file of my son to the Committee to overcome the deficiencies”, depressed Bina said, adding that both his sons were doing menial jobs to meet family needs.
There are 33 SRO-43 cases in 36 Municipal Committees/Councils of Jammu division due to various reasons for years. Most of the families of deceased Safai Karamcharis have similar stories to tell as they are facing severe financial constraints.
President of Safai-Karamchari Union Samba Ravi Kumar said that mostly the Safai-Karamcharis are illiterate and have no approach to higher authorities. “We rely on the local authorities for the compassionate jobs but files remain pending for years together”, Ravi said, adding that the Municpial Committee should immediately pay cash-in-lieu after death of any Safai-Karamchri but they create hurdles, which should be avoided.
Director Urban Local Bodies Jammu Veer Ji Hangloo said that his office had received a total of 33 SRO-43 cases out of which 17 were found with complete formalities while 16 applications with deficiencies were returned back to respective Municipalities for completion of deficiencies.
“The 17 cases have been forwarded to government for final approval to the appointment of the family members of the deceased Safai-Karamcharis and 16 were forwarded to government after complete documentation”, he added.

The author is a Jammu-based journalist and media fellow with National Foundation of India.
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