Chennai: A total of 7,000 engineers, graduates and diploma holders have applied for 549 posts of sanitary workers in the city Corporation of Coimbatore.

The corporation had called for applications for the posts of 549 grade-1 sanitary posts and 7,000 applicants appeared for the three-day interview and verification of certificates which began on Wednesday, official sources said.

On verification, it was found that nearly 70% of the candidates have completed SSLC, the minimum qualification, and most of them were engineers, post-graduates, graduates and diploma-holders, they said.

In some cases, it was found that the applicants were already employed in private firms, but the government job attracted them as the starting salary is Rs 15,700 per month.

Those already working as contract sanitary workers for the last 10 years have also applied for these permanent jobs.

Many graduate applicants had not secured jobs according to their qualification and had to work to support the family with just Rs 6,000-Rs 7,000 per month as salary in private firms and had toiled for 12 hours with no job security, they said.

A sanitary worker gets a salary of nearly Rs 20,000 with work timings of three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening, and also provides them with an option of doing other petty work during leisure time.

The corporation now has 2,000 permanent and 500 contract sanitary workers on its rolls.