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Delhi: Agitating sanitation workers warn they will lock down civic centre

Swatantra Majdoor Sayunkt Morcha, a sanitation union with members in three municipal corporations, made the announcement on Monday, soon after it went on strike.

delhi Updated: Oct 18, 2017 10:50 IST
Vibha Sharma
Swatantra Majdoor Sayunkt Morcha, a sanitation union with members in three municipal corporations, made the announcement on Monday, soon after it went on strike.
Swatantra Majdoor Sayunkt Morcha, a sanitation union with members in three municipal corporations, made the announcement on Monday, soon after it went on strike. (Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Delhi’s striking sanitation workers have announced that they will lock down the Civic Centre — headquarters of South and North DMC — on Wednesday, over non-payment of arrears, demand for cashless medical insurance cards and regularisation of staff.

Swatantra Majdoor Sayunkt Morcha, a sanitation union with members in three municipal corporations, made the announcement on Monday, soon after it went on strike.

“We don’t want residents to face inconvenience during festival season, but we are helpless. None of the officials and area representatives came to hear our pleas on the first day of our strike. This shows their unconcerned attitude towards the needs of 54,000 sanitation workers, who work hard to keep the city neat and clean,” said Sanjeev Java, the union’s president.

“We have already intimated the North DMC commissioner and SHO, Delhi Police about out plans to lock the civic centre on Wednesday,” said Java.

Though sanitation services in north Delhi were not effected much on the first day of the strike, but the workers claimed they have convinced many to abstain from work from on Tuesday.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Vikas Goel had criticised the BJP ruling North DMC for not discussing the strike during the standing committee meeting on Monday. “I even sat on floor and raised slogan against party for their apathy towards the issue,” said Goel.

AAP leader Rakesh Kumar, Leader of Opposition in NDMC House,said that the additional commissioner Deepak Hastir had promised in 2015 to bring preamble in standing committee for regularisation of staff, but till now situation remains the same. “People are working as daily wagers for over decades and the civic agency doesn’t want to regularise them, why? If they don’t have money then they should ask the Centre to provide them funds.” he said.

Miffed with the irregular payments of salaries and other pending demands, a sanitation union in east Delhi has been on strike since October 11. Though the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has distributed salaries and Diwali bonuses, the sanitation workers are unwilling to give up and have announced that they will continue the strike until their arrears are released.

“We will continue with our fight. Joining of strikes by other unions has increased our strength,” said Sanjay Gehlot, president of MCD Swachtta Karamachari Union. Poor sanitation services have started affecting the cleanliness in east Delhi, and soon may hit cleanliness in areas under the other two corporations.

To discuss the issues, the commissioners of three municipal corporations had a brief meeting with the UD secretary, according to sources. The meeting reportedly took place after the meeting between Hardeep Singh Puri, Union minister of urban development, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Member of Parliaments on Monday, Mayors of North and South Corporations on other issues related to the MCD.