Garbage piles up as strike continues
Garbage continues to pile on the streets of areas under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation as the strike by sanitation employees of the civic body stretched into more than a fortnight on Sunday.
On Sunday, garbage lay piled outside dumping sites and roads across many localities in north Delhi, even as the agitating sanitation workers dumped more on the streets in areas such as Model Town, Timarpur, Daryaganj, Civil Lines, Sadar Bazar, Mukherjee Nagar, Narela, Rohini, Karol Bagh and Keshavpuram.
Sanitation workers along with the employees of other departments such as nurses, paramedic staff, teachers, engineers, horticulture department staff, clerical staff started an indefinite strike on January 7 against non-payment of their salaries for the last three months. The strike is being conducted under the aegis of Confederation of the MCD Employees Union — an umbrella body of 45 associations of three civic bodies.
“Our strike will continue and we will not return to work until salary of employees of all departments are cleared,” Ram Niwas Solanki, general secretary of the confederation, said.
Besides payment of salaries, sanitation workers are also demanding regular jobs.
JP Tank, president Delhi Nagar Nigam Shramik Sangh, said, “We will continue our strike and will not remove garbage from any locality. We have not been paid salaries of October, November and December. January is also about to end so one more month will be added when our salary will be due. We want a permanent solution to this problem so we have decided to continue our strike despite the mayor’s announcement of two months salary payment, which is yet to be made.”
Residents, meanwhile, complained about stench and garbage not being lifted from across north Delhi areas due to the ongoing strike.
“All streets are littered with garbage here. Even as the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps through the country, this garbage menace is further endangering public health, said Anam Khan, a resident of Daryaganj near Golcha Cinema.
Manish Bajwa, a resident of Sadar Bazar, said people are bearing the brunt of the face off between the civic authorities and the state administration.
“When we go to the sanitation workers, they say they are on strike. Neither the government nor the civic bodies are paying attention to the crisis. Residents are the real sufferer,” he said.
Jai Prakash, mayor North Delhi Municipal Corporation, said that arrangements are being made to clear pending salaries of all employees. “We have released two months salaries of sanitation workers. I now appeal them to return to work as garbage is seen strewn across streets. Salaries of other department’s employees will also be released soon,” Prakash said.
Responding to this, acting president of Delhi Nagar Nigam Shramik Sangh, Pawan Tank said, “Sanitation workers are yet to get the said salaries. And also it is now not a matter of only sanitation workers but it is concerned to all civic employees. We have supported the call of the strike by the confederation so we will continue the strike until the matter is resolved.”