The strike threat issued by over 17,000 sanitation workers in east Delhi has residents worried.
East Delhi was the worst hit by the previous two major strikes by the sanitation workers. Roads across east Delhi had piles of garbage dumped on them by striking workers; waste dumps overflowed and collection of garbage from homes was stopped.
Delhi generates a total of 10,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste daily of which 2,200 tonnes is generated in east Delhi alone.
“Sanitation workers have gone on multiple strikes in the recent years. The situation became so serious that the Lieutenant Governor and the Delhi High Court had to intervene. I fail to understand why the corporation has not been able to solve the issue yet,” said BS Vohra, president, east Delhi RWAs joint federation.
“After demonetisation, EDMC has collected a huge amount as revenue yet still they claim they have no money pay salaries to their staff. Why should the residents suffer for the corporation’s failure,” asked Vohra.
The workers, who threatened an indefinite strike on Thursday, are demanding their three months’ salary dues and arrears. ON all the previous occasions, payment of dues has been the main demand of the workers. With a budgetary deficit of over several thousand crores, the EDMC has survived on the support by the Delhi government and the Centre.
Residents said it is high time that the blame game between the political parties should stop and someone fix the responsibility. “I pay my property tax regularly so why should I suffer unnecessarily. Last year, garbage was not lifted from streets for two weeks. It happened in the month of October when chikungunya and malaria spread in Delhi due to unhygienic surroundings,” said AK Jha, a resident of Anand Vihar.
Mohanjeet Singh, EDMC commissioner, assured to make all necessary arrangements to ensure that residents are not harassed.
“There is no denying the fact that their salaries are pending for months but we don’t have money. We are concerned about the families of the sanitation workers and are pursuing Delhi government to issue grants. We are expecting that funds are released in a couple of days,” he said.