The ongoing strike by safai karamcharis of the Udhampur Muncipal Council here has led to the neglect of cleanliness in the entire city. Several roads in the city contain heaps of garbage, which cause great inconvenience to pedestrians. Chandan Sharma, medical practitioner at district hospital, Udhampur, said the unhygienic atmosphere in the city would cause several health hazards and the city could turn into a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which could spread dengue. Fungal spores from garbage could lead to nasal allergies, he added.
Social worker Parvesh Kumar said the district administration continued to remain a mute spectator despite being aware of the health hazards and had failed to address the issue.
Meanwhile, city residents are trying to evolve their own ways of disposing garbage. Residents of various localities in the city are emptying out their garbage in polythene bags and throwing them in empty plots and on deserted streets. Some are even discarding the polythene bags in parks, where there are already heaps of cut grass and weeds.
Raghav Sharma, a resident, said: "I go for a walk every morning, take the garbage in polythene bags and throw them in a nearby nallah. What else can we do?" A few other residents throw garbage that does not belong to them on streets.
Members of the Safai Karamchari Association, Udhampur, have been protesting for nearly a fortnight, demanding that the government make employees, who have worked for more than seven years, permanent, provide them the wages of the last eight months. Last year, the association had organised a state-wide strike and the government had promised to address this issue.
Meanwhile chief executive officer of the Udhampur municipal council KK Chalotra said he had already apprised higher authorities regarding the ongoing strike. "We are still waiting for further orders from them regarding this issue," he said.