For residents battling with stinking garbage all round, good news could be in the offing on Friday as at a meeting held with local bodies Anil Joshi in Amritsar late on Thursday, demands of sanitation workers have been met. However, whether the strike — that entered into its eighth day in the town on Thursday — would end will be known after a workers’ meeting on Friday 11 am. Interestingly, the workers could not meet the chief minister as scheduled.
The workers have been on strike for the past 8 days demanding the filling up of 328 vacant posts, insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh and inclusion of Class-4 employees and sanitation workers within the ambit of recommendations of the Pay Commission. They have also opposed the use of mechanised cleaning vehicles. The cancellation of the transfer of MC employee Mandeep Singh is also a major demand.
A meeting late evening was held with cabinet minister Anil Joshi in which the minister has conceded to their demands. But whether the union will take back the strike would be decided during the meeting of the union that would be held at 11 am on Friday.
“The minister has agreed for removing the contractor and the 328 vacant posts would be filled through the safai karacharis working on contract for last more than two decades. Even the person working as drivers would be promoted” said Sajjjan Singh.
Politics outdoes sanitation
Even as the sanitation goes from bad to worse with the common man suffering, political parties are indulging in mudslinging without offering any help. “SAD-BJP councillors are demanding the resignation of the mayor, instead they should act proactively and get issues resolved. The strike is against the government so SAD-BJP councillors should act as mediators and get the issues resolved,” said Congress councillor Kuljeet Singh Bedi.
Interestingly, there has been silence on the issue from political personalities who could have made a difference. MLA Balbir Singh and MP Prem Singh Chandumajra have maintained silence. Even the DC, after holding a single round of meeting, has failed to take any action.
A few insiders claim that the strike is politically motivated and is aimed to target MC commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta, who has been expressing helplessness since Day 1.