Ending the logjam, local bodies minister Anil Joshi on Friday accepted the main demands of the municipal corporation workers with an assurance to arrange funds for releasing their provident fund arrears totalling Rs 40 crore.
The protesters are demanding inclusion among the beneficiaries of the revised pay commission, filling up vacant posts and regularising employees of the sewerage department, besides release of provident fund arrears.
The decision to accept their demands was taken at a meeting with the MC workers at Joshi’s camp office on Friday. A meeting with the minister on Thursday had failed.
The meeting with Joshi lasted for about an hour. Harjinder Singh Walia, one of the leaders of the employees’ union, said the minister promised to fulfil all their demands and sought time to arrange funds for provident fund arrears.
“He has accepted our demands including the one for regularising the contract workers,” he said. Walia said the minister assured to arrange funds from various grants for releasing the provident fund arrears of the employees. “The protest, however, will be called off on Monday,” he said.
Municipal corporation joint commissioner Surinder Singh said workers had been asked to join duty right away and not from Monday.
“Since the Navratras have started, we cannot afford to keep the city dirty. So, they have been asked to get to work immediately,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Municipal corporation workers began the day by holding demonstrations at the Hall Gate and railway station, where they raised slogans against the government before they were invited to the minister’s camp office for parleys.
The garbage-lifting re-mained suspended for the fifth day on Friday and is likely to be resumed only by Monday, when the employees go back to work. Going by the estimates of the sanitation workers, the city’s daily garbage generation has increased from 600 metric tonnes to 800 metric tonnes.
In the absence of lifting for five days, nearly 4,000 metric tonnes of waste has accumulated on roadsides across the city. With two more days to go before the workers join work, the garbage heaps are bound to grow in size.