Several parts of the city in east and north Delhi witnessed traffic jams on Friday as sanitation workers littered garbage on the roads, protesting non-payment of salaries.
The protesters also blocked several arterial roads with garbage pick-up vans, bringing traffic to a standstill.
More than 12,000 sanitation employees of the east and north corporations had threatened to go on strike from March 31, if their demands for salary and permanent jobs were not fulfilled.
Sanitation workers also protested in large groups outside the offices of the two corporations on Tuesday to demand their dues. They also damaged property in two zonal offices of the east corporation in Shahdara, north and south.
Citing poor working conditions and extended hours at work, workers said they were struggling to make ends meet owing to constant delay in salary payment.
“We will organise a mass protest if the workers are not paid. The authorities don’t seem to understand that the workers are humans too. They also have to feed their children, educate them. They didn’t even get anything on festivals,” said Babita, a protester.
Protesters claimed the delay in payment has become a regular practice by the authorities and further alleged that often the salary is much less than that what is due, suggesting corruption.
The authorities, however, cited procedural delay for the non-payment of salaries to the employees. An official spokesperson for the east and north Delhi corporations saithat while payments for the month of January have been made to the workers of the east and north Delhi Municipal Corporation, efforts are being made for early payment of delayed salaries as well.
“Most workers have been paid for the month of January. The issue of delay in payment is being resolved immediately and the workers have been assured of early payment of their salaries on Friday,” the spokesperson said.
Officials also blamed politics for the massive fund crunch that has triggered the problem. While the BJP rules the three municipal corporation, the Aam Aadmi Party runs Delhi government. Efforts by the civic body leaders to get funds from the state government have been met with denial by the AAP government.Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had even told the BJP that if it could not run the civic bodies, it should hand them over to the AAP, promising a financial turn around.