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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

Stink outside Golden Temple worsens as sanitation workers continue stir

Shaheen P Parshad , Hindustan Times  Amritsar , January 21, 2014
First Published: 21:34 IST(21/1/2014) | Last Updated: 21:35 IST(21/1/2014)

With the garbage removal coming to a halt and at least 650 metric tonnes of garbage left to rot on the city streets every day, various localities in Amritsar continued to stink as the municipal corporation's sanitation staff continued their strike for seventh day on Tuesday.

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The streets here were littered and the pedestrians had to wade through the mounds of garbage, especially in the walled city area, which receives a huge rush of tourists and devotees.

Besides suspending the work of lifting garbage, the protesters also suspended the door-to-door waste collection, thereby adding to the woes of the residents.

The sanitation staff is protesting against the state government's proposal to re-launch the solid waste management project that had earlier failed after the Antony Solid Waste Management Company pulled out of it two years back. The protesters have termed the proposal as disastrous as those employed with the MC as sanitation workers are from economically backward sections.

The MC authorities in an attempt to persuade the 2,000 protesters to end the strike called a meeting late on Tuesday evening.

Some unions claimed that the strike would continue indefinitely till their demands were met while others claimed that they had acquiesced to the MC officials' appeals to allow cleaning of areas outside important shrines such as the Golden Temple, Durgiana Temple and Gurdwara Shaheedan.

"We have agreed to carry sanitation outside the Golden Temple, Durgiana Temple and Gurdwara Shaheedan during night. A couple of trolleys have already been deputed for this," said Surinder Tona, leader of one of the workers' unions.

He, however, said the strike would continue till the government accepted their demand of scrapping the proposal to re-launch the solid waste management project.

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