Even as the dengue situation threatens to slip out of control, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) failed to convince its domestic breeding checkers (DBC) to call off their strike on Tuesday. These workers have been demanding regularisation of their jobs.
Meanwhile, 68 fresh cases of dengue were reported on Tuesday, taking the tally to 1,438. As many as four persons have succumbed to the deadly fever so far this year. With only 25 days to go for the Commonwealth Games and the dengue situation getting grimmer, the civic agency is now in a tight spot as to how to deal with the epidemic.
Officials claim that they do not have adequate funds to regularise the DBCs. On the other hand, the striking workers threatened to continue the stir till their demands are met. “We have been working on contract for the past 15 years and want a permanent job now,” said Ashok Chaudhary, president of Anti-Malaria Karamchari Sangh. He added: “Ours is a technical job. Even if the MCD hires new people, it will have to train those workers.
We will approach the Lt. Governor if the MCD sacks us.” Although the civic agency had earlier threatened that those not returning to work will face termination of services, it has given the DBCs one last chance to return to work.
Citing helplessness over regularisation of the striking workers, the officials admitted that the work of a DBC is quite technical in nature and it might take at least a week’s time to recruit new ones.
“We have given them one more chance to come back to work. We are sure they will pay heed to our advice,” said V.K Monga, Chairman, Public Health Committee of the MCD. The DBCs, who undertake door-to-door surveys to check mosquito breeding, have been demanding regularisation of jobs for long now. In 2008, they had observed a 47-day strike with the same demand.