Capital city stinks as sanitation workers’ strike continues

Principal secretary of UDD Anand Kishor said that he reviewed the demands of striking staff and appealed them to call off their strike considering public interest.
Garbage pilled up on the roadside, in Patna on Saturday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
Garbage pilled up on the roadside, in Patna on Saturday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
Published on Sep 11, 2021 10:14 PM IST
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By Megha, Patna

Woes of the residents of the capital city remained unabated as the strike called by daily wage sanitation workers of the Patna municipal corporation (PMC) continued for the fifth day on Saturday.

The Urban Development Department (UDD) called the representatives of striking staff for reconciliation but the talks remained inconclusive, shared an official.

The city has turned into a stinking heap of garbage and carcasses of animals lying on the roadside. More than 4,000 tonnes of municipal wastes have been accumulated on the sides of Gandhi Maidan, Boring Road, Bailey Road, Dak Bangalow, Frazer Road, Langar Toli, Ashok Rajpath, Mithapur, Station Road, besides other prominent localities due to the strike. The stench emanating from the carcasses of animals is adding to the miseries of the people.

Around 40,000 employees of 258 urban local bodies (ULBs) in the state have been holding protests since September 7 under the banner of Bihar Local Bodies Employees Sanyukt Sangharsh Morcha, seeking 12-pointer demand, including regularisation of services of all contractual workers, equal pay for equal work and compassionate jobs.

Chandra Prakash Singh, president of the association, said, “Talks with UDD remained inconclusive today. We will not call off the strike unless we get assurance for regularisation of daily wage workers. It is unfair to deprive Dalits and backward communities of government jobs in the name of outsourcing despite working with the civic body for over a decade.”

However, later in the day, the principal secretary of UDD, Anand Kishor, said that he reviewed the demands of striking staff and appealed to them to call off their strike, considering the public interest. He said, “The department is compassionately considering the demands of the protestors and a suitable decision will be taken soon. A committee has been constituted to review demands of sanitation staff.”

UDD has scheduled the second round of talks with representatives of striking staff on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the PMC has roped in outsourced staff for keeping the city clean. Harshita, public relations officer of PMC, said, “Our efforts are on to maintain cleanliness in the city. Actions are being taken against those sanitation inspectors who refuse to cooperate.”

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Monday, October 18, 2021