The mounds of garbage on roads and vacant spaces are getting bigger with each passing day even as a strike by the city’s sanitation employees entered its eighth day.
Around 600 sanitation employees hired by a private contractor have been on strike for the last eight days in Greater Noida. Employees have been demanding that their monthly salaries should come directly in their accounts and the contractor should be removed as he charges 2.5% commission on the monthly salary of each employee.
Around 300 employees have been sitting on a dharna at the premises of the Greater Noida authority office for the last two days. Before sitting on dharna they were on a strike for six days. When officials did not address their demands, they entered into the authority office and sat on the dharna.
Due to the strike, nobody has collected waste from households in the past eight days.
“Roads and vacant areas in most residential spaces are covered with heaps of garbage. Many points have turned into dumpyards. The Greater Noida authority should address the sanitation workers’ issues soon or ensure cleanliness by other means,” said Harendra Bhati, vice-president of Greater Noida residents welfare associations.
Garbage can be seen scattered across sectors, such as, Alpha-I, Gamma-I, Beta-I and Haibatpur village. Residents said the stink has become unbearable.
“Although garbage is collected from homes, it is just dumped outside the sector,” said Alok Singh, a member of Active Citizens, a social group of the residents in Greater Noida.
Protesting sanitation employees said they will not let new workers collect and transport garbage until their demands are met. Sanitation employees said the authority has been harassing them for a long time.
“I was hired by the contractor 12 years ago on a salary of ₹9,180. If the authority cannot give us a permanent job then they can at least remove the contractor and pay us the salary directly as it will save some money that is being spent on paying the commission,” said Arjun Bhagwana, a sanitation worker.
Meanwhile, Greater Noida authority officials said that they are making alternative arrangements to end the civic mess. “We have arranged 500 new sanitation employees, who are involved in collecting and transporting the household waste. Around 100 employees will join work from Thursday to ensure that residents do not face any problem. These employees should talk to the contractor. Since they are not our employees, we cannot do anything about their issues,” said Deepak Agarwal, chief executive officer of the Greater Noida authority.