Garbage strewn streets were back to haunt the city residents on Wednesday as the strike by municipal workers entered day two.
The workers littered the streets with garbage in many parts of the city, including Duragapuri Chowk, Mayur Vihar, Karol Bagh, Madangeer and Saket. However, areas in south and north Delhi were relatively less affected by the strike than in east Delhi.
“All the sanitation workers are on strike. We are not collecting any garbage but we are also not spilling garbage on the roads,” said Rajendra Mewati, general secretary of United Front of MCD Employees.
The worst affected, however, were the school students who were either sent back home from their schools or refused to be taught by their teachers. The municipal teachers, among the rest of the employees, have completely boycotted teaching. While most of the teachers stayed away from schools, those present in school led a pen-down strike. ‘No money, no work’ was also seen written at some of the municipal schools.
Abrupt halt in the collection of garbage, also became evident with tonnes of garbage scattered along the roadside at many places in east and north Delhi. Daily services of the corporation like issuing of birth certificates, property tax collection among others also took a hit.
The protesters are likely to decide on Friday if the protests will be intensified.
Since the three civic bodies provide some of the most basic amenities to 96% of the city, the impact of the strike may be much more intense if it continues beyond three days.
Officials said the lack of field officials may prevent a check on the rampant illegal construction that goes on every day in the city. “On an average, the municipal corporations take action against at least 10 illegal constructions every day. With the lack of field inspectors there is a high possibility that the land mafia will take advantage of the strike,” said a municipal official.
Senior officials said the ongoing strike will also make compliance of the orders of the National Green Tribunal difficult due to shortage of on-field inspectors. In a bid to help reduce the rising levels of pollution in the city, the green court had directed the civic bodies to take action against those who burn garbage and don’t follow environmental laws during construction of buildings.
Senior officials in the corporation are also worried that a lot of students may drop out of schools, if the strike goes on for long since most of them come from poor families. “The lack of teachers not only classes will not take place but distribution of mid-day meals will also be hit. This is going to have a huge impact on the attendance in schools,” said a municipal official.
Over 12 lakh students study in 1,860 schools of the three municipal corporation, the future of all the students are at stake.
The officials added that the school admissions will also be affected if the strike goes on. “The municipal corporations receive the largest number of birth certificate requests during the first quarter of the year due to school admissions. Though in case of strike, the process will be affected,” he said.