As the protest by the EDMC sanitation workers entered its fifth day on Monday, a group of workers took out a mock ‘funeral’ procession of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal from Shakarpur Chowk to Laxmi Nagar traffic signal, which resulted in a traffic jam at the Vikas Marg stretch.
Blocking Vikas Marg, which connects east Delhi to ITO and central Delhi, caused inconvenience to hundreds of commuters.
“I have been stuck in jam for one hour and it took me 25 minutes just to cross Nirman Vihar traffic signal. Why should we people suffer for the corporation’s fault?” said Akriti Saluja, a resident of Anand Vihar.
About 17,000 East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) employees went on an indefinite strike on Thursday over non-payment of salaries for three months, arrears (from the date of regularisation of employees) and their cashless medical insurance.
“The government should have made appropriate arrangements well in advance to deal with this situation,” said SN Gupta, resident of Laxmi Nagar.
Although the Delhi government approved advance disbursal of Rs119 crore to the EDMC and urged the BJP-ruled civic agency to disburse the salary of its striking staff at the earliest, the workers are adamant to continue with strike until all their demands are met.
“We are not happy by troubling commuters and we feel bad for them. But the government is not listening to us and we have no other way to grab their attention. We don’t have money to run our house expenses, pay children’s school fees and state government is mocking us by transferring Rs119 crores to the EDMC. The funds will help in paying only one month salary and after that situation will become the same again,” said Veer Singh Dhigaan, general secretary, Rastriya Safai Mazdoor Congress.
On Tuesday, the workers will protest outside the residences of Mahesh Giri, Member of Parliament from east Delhi, and Ram Niwas Goel, Delhi Vidhan Sabha Speaker.