More than 200 Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) workers on Friday morning gheraoed Delhi’s Transport and Rural Development Minister Gopal Rai residence-cum-office in northeast Delhi’s Babarpur and dumped garbage as their strike entered the third day. The protest outside Rai’s residence came a day after scores of agitated sanitation workers dumped garbage outside deputy CM Manish Sidodia’s office in Mayur Vihar, demanding immediate release of funds for their salaries.
While the protests outside the transport minister’s residence were on, scores of municipal workers led demonstration at various areas in east Delhi, west Delhi and south Delhi, causing traffic jams during the morning peak hours, causing inconvenience to office-goers, other commuters and residents.
A major obstruction in traffic was reported from east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar area where municipal employees dumped a pile of garbage on the main Laxmi Nagar-Mother Dairy traffic intersection and shouted slogans against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and accused Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and other top ministers for not releasing funds for their salaries.
The protesters also burnt Kejriwal’s effigy and claimed that their protests will continue till the Kejriwal-led Delhi government releases pay the money to municipal workers. Traffic movement, however, was normal in the carriageway from Laxmi Nagat T-point towards ITO.
Similar protests were reported from Shastri Park, Narela, Vasant Kunj and several areas in west Delhi. Over 100 municipal sanitation workers gathered at Shastri Park traffic signal and dumped garbage on the main road. They sat on the main road and blocked traffic for several minutes, causing a bumper-to-bumper traffic on Seelampur-ISBT Kashmere gate route. Similar traffic obstructions were created by the protesters at Vasant Kunj traffic signal due to which the volume of traffic was high from Vasant Kunj towards Mahipalpur.
The workers had on Wednesday carried out massive protests outside Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s house and Jantar Mantar. The municipal employees had called for a complete municipal shut down on Wednesday due to non-payment of salaries for over three months, bringing services like sanitation, primary health and primary education to a halt.
“We have not received our salaries for the past three months and the government is playing a blame game. We will make sure that our plight reaches them even if it is in the form of garbage dumping,” Sanjay Gehlot, president of Mazdoor Vikas Samyukta Morcha, said.
The protesters had given the Delhi government and the municipal corporation time till Friday to release their salaries, before they begin dumping garbage onto streets. The municipal corporations have a total employee strength of 1.3 lakh, including teachers, paramedical and administrative staff, engineers and sanitation workers, all of whom are on strike.