Delhi ministers, AAP MLAs and hundreds of party workers on Sunday hit the streets to clear the garbage dumped on several roads across the city as the strike by over 60,000 sanitation workers of the BJP-ruled municipal bodies entered the fifth day.
The ministers joined the PWD officials and workers of the Delhi Jal Board who have been deployed by the Delhi government to clean the streets, particularly from the areas where garbage has been piling up for the past few days.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, tourism minister Kapil Mishra, environment minister Imran Hussain and Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel were among the leaders who wielded the broom in their respective constituencies on Sunday.
Over 2,000 Delhi Jal Board workers have teamed up with PWD workers for the cleanliness drive.
“A total of 123 machines (loaders/JCB, trucks/tippers, maintenance vans and so on) along with requisite manpower have been deployed by the department so far in its cleaning drive, which began on Saturday morning and continued round-the-clock through the night. Senior officials of the department monitored the situation on a regular basis and sent live updates to deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and PWD minister Satyendra Jain,” a Delhi government release stated.
Chief minister Kejriwal, who is in Bengaluru for naturopathy treatment, lauded the PWD staff for working through the night to clear garbage and urged AAP functionaries to help the department personnel. “I am told PWD people and trucks worked whole nite to clean up garbage. I would urge all AAP volunteers to help PWD,” he tweeted, urging them to “keep it up”.
Hospitals run by the civic bodies were also hit hard as around 7,000 doctors and 12,000 nurses joined the strike on Saturday seeking payment of their dues. The nearly 12,000-strong engineering staff of the civic bodies has also struck work since Saturday.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who took part in cleanliness drive in his Patparganj constituency, alleged a “salary scam” in the corporations. He said the government is looking for a “permanent solution” to the problem.
Satyendra Jain also told a news channel that it was the BJP leaders who were inciting the workers to strike. He said the government was committed to resolve the crisis.
Jain held a meeting with North and East MCD commissioners at his residence.
“Jain had called the meeting to take stock of the situation. During the meeting, the Commissioners briefed him that MCD doctors have not participated in the protest and are performing their duties,” a senior government official said.
According to Delhi government officials, commissioners of the two civic bodies told Jain that doctors from MCD hospitals have not participated in the strike, a claim which was dismissed by an association of the medical staffers.