As the strike by sanitation workers entered its sixth day on Wednesday, with several roads in east and north Delhi colonies stinking of strewn garbage, the Delhi high court directed the police to ensure that those cleaning the roads were not obstructed by striking civic employees.
On Wednesday, the police removed 13 protesters who were trying to throw garbage on the road in Rajinder Nagar.
Sources said no immediate relief was in sight as workers continued to press their demand for payment of their arrears.
“The corporations do not have funds to meet their demands and the Delhi government has not released any grants,” said a senior municipal official.
The union leaders of the corporation however toned down their protest after being pulled up by the high court. The Delhi High Court had directed the sanitation unions not to obstruct workers who want to work. It had also directed Delhi police to ensure that protestors don’t dump the garbage on the streets.
A bench of chief justice G Rohini and justice Jayant Nath directed the Delhi Police commissioner to ensure that the removal of garbage by various private agencies employed by the municipal corporations were not obstructed “till further orders of this court”.
The court sought a compliance report from the police commissioner by January 8, 2016.
The court’s interim order was passed on an application filed by East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), which has sought direction to the safai karamchaaris working under them to comply with the court’s earlier order.
Late Wednesday evening, senior special commissioner (law and order) Deepak Mishra directed all police officials to ensure security to agencies involved in sanitation.
“We will abide by the high court’s order and continue the strike as ‘tool down protest’. We will not force anyone to join our protest. We won’t dump the garbage on the streets or cause any problem to the citizens,” said Sanjay Gahlot, president, Swatantra Majdoor Vikas Sayunkt Morcha.