Dozens of municipal workers dumped garbage and shouted slogans outside Deputy CM Manish Sisodia’s camp office on Thursday morning to demand the immediate release of their salaries that have not been paid for almost three months.
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.
Delhi: MCD workers place mounds of garbage outside Manish Sisodia's residence in a protest over non-payment of dues. pic.twitter.com/6z6PkhF7MS— ANI (@ANI_news) January 28, 2016
Delhi: MCD workers place mounds of garbage outside Manish Sisodia's residence in a protest over non-payment of dues. pic.twitter.com/qvEXKe21vh— ANI (@ANI_news) January 28, 2016
Adequate deployment by the local police was made. The protest by the employees is the second such stint in two days, the agitators had on Wednesday carried out massive protests outside Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s house and Jantar Mantar. They had even burned Kejriwal’s effigy.
According to union leaders, while the municipal shut down will continue till Friday, they will dump garbage onto streets if their demands are not complied to.
The municipal corporation has a total employee strength of 1.3 lakh, including teachers, para-medical and administrative staff, engineers and sanitation workers, all of whom are on strike.
The protest triggered fears of a rerun of last October’s stinking situation when piles of garbage on roadsides during a strike sparked fears of disease.
“It has been two-three months that the workers have not received their salaries. Despite repeated requests, our demands have gone unheard. Hence, we have staged a protest here. We will call off work for an indefinite period if our demands are not met,” Sanjay Gehlot, president of Mazdoor Vikas Samyukta Morcha, said.
Gehlot claimed that employees from all the three civic bodies have taken part in the strike.
Besides salaries, the employees are seeking payment of arrears, regularisation of contract-based employees and unification of the three corporations.
The Delhi government clarified that it has disbursed funds to the municipal corporations for payment of salaries and that all the three civic commissioners written back about receiving the amount.
The strike started on a day the Delhi high court issued notices to the Centre, the Delhi government and the municipal corporations over non-payment of salaries.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also directed the Delhi police to ensure that sanitation workers, who have been spearheading the protest, do not face any difficulty at work.
The AAP government counsel Rahul Mehra asked the bench to order the strike called off, stating that the government has “released 100% funds” to the corporations.
Delhi tourism minister Kapil Mishra alleged that the corporations had Rs 300 crore that they are not spending. “You are creating a drama. What happened to the money the corporations get from parking, advertising, house tax, toll tax, and property conversion? What happened to the money? Why aren’t you paying the poor employees? This is deep-rooted corruption. There is also a conspiracy hatched by the BJP to bring shame to the city and force Delhiites to live in filth,” he said.
The BJP countered with north Delhi mayor Ravinder Gupta saying that chief minister Kejriwal has lost his mind. “He should go to a mental hospital instead of naturopathy,” he said, taking a dig at the chief minister’s medical trip to Bangaluru.
An official said employees of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation have been receiving salaries on time but joined the strike in solidarity with their colleagues from the other two agencies.
“It’s astonishing to see that the governments are busy blaming each other for our unpaid salaries, rather than actually helping us. The situation has reached a point where we must go on strike if we want to get paid our dues,” said a doctor at a civic hospital.