In view of the protests being staged by sweepers against the implementation of solid waste management project, Hindustan Times talks to chief parliamentary secretary KD Bhandari about the issue.
The project has not been able to see the light of day since it was announced last year. Will it continue to be put on hold?
A: Not at all. Even local bodies minister Anil Joshi has told agitating employees that the project will not be taken back at any cost. To reach an amicable solution, we are holding meetings with the union leaders. Very soon, solid waste management will become a reality in Jalandhar.
You said sweepers' littering the MC office with garbage was justified. How?
I did not justify the act. I talked about the problems of sweepers who were not paid for the past five to six months. Their issues are genuine. What they did was condemnable and they had apologised for it in front of the commissioner and the minister. We are not withdrawing the case registered against them.
Why senior deputy mayor Kamaljeet Singh Bhatia is being made a scapegoat for a decision taken by
the finance and contracts committee?
Union leaders are criticising Bhatia because he, at a committee meeting, had proposed to stop their payments due to unsatisfactory work.
You said contractual workers are being paid less than the collector rates. Why you never took any action in this regard earlier?
I was not aware of this earlier. I will recommend that strict action be taken against the contractor who is paying them less.