DJB workers defer strike to protest humiliation after water minister’s intervention
DJB employees had earlier said that they will not work from Monday until the chairman of Delhi Assembly’s committee on government undertakings (COGU) and other committee members tendered an unconditional apology to the DJB CEO and its employees for their ‘misbehaviour’.delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2017 21:11 IST
Engineers of the Delhi Jal Board “deferred” their proposed strike to protest the alleged humiliation of senior officials by an Assembly panel, after the water minister’s intervention.
DJB employees had earlier said that they will not work from Monday until the chairman of Delhi Assembly’s committee on government undertakings (COGU) and other committee members tendered an unconditional apology to the DJB CEO and its employees for their ‘misbehaviour’.
Water minister Rajendra Gautam met unions on Sunday and promised to resolve the issue after which the decision to put off the agitation was taken, a member of the engineers’ body said.
But the government continued its attack against DJB CEO Keshav Chandra as a case against him has been referred to the Delhi Assembly’s privilege committee.
“The committee on estimates of the Delhi Assembly is probing alleged irregularities pertaining to 14 sewage treatment plants (STPs), which are being set up for the cleaning of Najafgarh and other supplementary drains under Phase-1 of the ‘Maily Se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Plan 2017’. The CEO was asked to appear before it over this issue. The engineers who had come with him were asked to step out so that he could be questioned individually. Instead of responding to the questions, he shouted at the members of the panel,” water minister Rajendra Gautam told Hindustan Times. He said a few officials were “misguided and misled” into protesting.
“The panel has every right to ask questions about spending of tax payers’ money on these projects. Everyone is answerable to the people. If anyone has done illegal tenders or orders, we will take action,” the minister said.
DJB CEO Keshav Chandra couldn’t be reached for his comments.
A day’s strike won’t affect water supply in Delhi. However, in case the government failed to respond swiftly, the strike might have stretched on indefinitely, causing waters woes.
A member of the engineers’ association said Gautam on Sunday assured that the matter would be resolved, so the protest has been deferred. “We will meet again on Tuesday to decide the next course of action,” he said.
Earlier, the DJB officials had said they were unhappy about privilege proceedings being initiated against their CEO Keshav Chandra. Officials said they even heard Chandra being screamed at for not releasing funds for a project, something which they claim was not under his jurisdiction.