Sanitation staff strike takes political colour as Cong extends support

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • |
  • Updated: Jan 23, 2014 23:32 IST

The agitation by sanitation workers, on Thursday, took a political colour as councillors and leaders of the Congress extended support to their agitation and joined them at the protest site.

Meanwhile, on the 9th consecutive day, workers stayed away from their work and did not lift garbage from the dumps. MC officials assured to make alternative arrangements but failed to do so.

Led by presidents of district Congress committees (DCCs) Rajinder Beri (urban), Jagbir Singh Brar (Rural) and leader of opposition in the municipal corporation house Jagdish Raja, councillors and workers sat on a dharna and backed the agitators.

Congress also submitted a memorandum to MC officials demanding postponement of the house meeting scheduled for Friday.

"The MC has failed to resolve the issue for the last ten days. The whole city has turned into a garbage dump. They should resolve the workers' issues on priority. Republic Day is ahead but nobody at the MC is bothered about this. What is the need of a house meeting when the whole city is suffering," said Jagbir Brar.

"We are not against the solid waste management project. We want the project to be run by the government instead of private entrepreneurs," said Rajinder Beri.

Taking initiative to stop the spread of epidemics, the health department, on Thursday, deputed health supervisers and field staff to spray anti-bacterial medicines on the garbage dumps.

Over 300 safai workers of the MC have been on a strike since January 15 demanding scrapping of the solid waste management project, for which the MC had engaged JITF Ecopolis by making a special cluster of 27 civic bodies for solid waste disposal.

In the evening, a meeting was also held in the office of senior deputy mayor Kamaljeet Singh Bhatia, which was reportedly attended besides Bhatia, BJP councilor Krishan Kochhar Minta and several other

Congress councillors to pressurise the mayor for postponement of the house meeting.

"We have agreed to accept many demands of agitators. I am surprised why the mayor and MC commissioner had failed to inform the agitators in writing about the same," Bhatia said.

Mayor Sunil Jyoti and commissioner Manpreet Chattwal were not available for comments in spite of repeated attempts.


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