As many as 40 contract workers, including 12 women, of the sanitation department were detained before Punjab water supply and sanitation minister Surjit Singh Rakhra was to arrive at Mattewara village on Sunday morning. They were later let off in the evening.
The workers, under the banner Theka Mulazim Sangharsh Morcha, a conglomeration of 21 organisations, had planned to show black flags to Rakhra, to press for their demands. The workers, who have been outsourced by the sanitation department, want to be directly attached to the department.
Gurpreet Rupra, incharge of the union, said the workers were promised by irrigation minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon that he would arrange their meeting with Rakhra. “However, no meeting was arranged due to which, we were infuriated and wanted to register our protest by raising black flags during the event,” said Gurpreet.
Meanwhile, Rakhra said that the Punjab government would provide 100 percent water supply, sewerage and toilets to all households in all villages of the state. Rakhra said that the work on this project under the Swachh Bharat Mission is already underway and would be completed by October 2 next year.
He said this while laying the foundation stone of Rs 21-crore project for providing sewerage facility to 14 panchayats of three villages—Meharban, Jagirpur and Bajra, which are located on the outskirts of the city. Rakhra was accompanied by irrigation minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon. Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said that the Rs 21-crore project will benefit a population of 50,000 from Sahnewal constituency and it will be completed in six months time.