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MC employees’ strike: As Haryana stinks, Khattar blinks

MC employees’ strike: Consensus reached, says Haryana CM; workers to take final call on stir today.

india Updated: May 17, 2018 14:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh/Karnal
MC employees’ strike,Haryana stinks,Khattar blinks
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar(HT File )

As Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday said consensus had already been reached on some demands of striking employees, civic bodies employees ’ union leaders said they will hold their union’s executive meet on Thursday to decide on their ongoing strike.

While interacting with mediapersons after convening a meeting between urban local bodies department and representatives of agitating MC employees, Khattar, said, “A consensus has already been reached on some demands of employees.” He expressed hope that the strike would be called off.

However, president of Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangh, Naresh Shastri, said, “We are not satisfied with the assurance given by the chief minister that all our issues will be sorted out within next eight days. We want action on our demands now, not an assurance.”

“The Sangh executive committee will hold a meeting on Thursday to take a final call on the next step,” he said adding that the workers’ stir was still on.

Meanwhile, urban local bodies minister Kavita Jain said the state government had decided to constitute a committee on one of the workers’ demand — equal pay for equal work — under the chairmanship of the chief secretary. The committee will submit its report before May 31, she added. On the question of workers’ other demands, including regularisation of their services and hike in allowances, she said it had been decided to enhance the sanitation workers’ allowance from Rs 300 to Rs 1,000. “It was also decided that no new outsourcing contracts on supply of employees, including sanitation workers and sewermen, will be done in future and the present outsourcing policy contracts will continue till the date of their expiry and thereupon, the outsourced manpower will be shifted to the municipal roll,” she said.

“From now onwards, the provident fund and employees’ state insurance will be directly deposited by the urban local bodies department in the accounts of the individual employees as was demanded by workers,” she added.

Around 30,000 employees of 87 civic bodies had gone on three-strike on May 9, intensified it on May 11 and extended it till May 14. The striking staff have now pushed it till May 17, though final decision will be taken on Thursday at their meeting in Rohtak.

Garbage piles up in Karnal

Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s Karnal is stinking and heaps of garbage can be seen piled at several places, owing to the ongoing strike by the sanitation workers in Haryana.

Though the strike entered its eighth day on Wednesday, there were no alternative arrangements in place to deal with the problem being faced by the residents of Karnal, the city that produces about 10 quintals of garbage daily.

The officials at the Karnal municipal corporation (MC) said the striking employees did not allow anybody to lift the garbage as a pressure-building tactic on the government.

They said the municipal commissioner had been appealing to people not to dump garbage outside their houses till the strike continued, but the residents showed reluctance to follow the directions.

“It was the duty of the corporation and government to deal with the problem as we pay taxes to the government. We cannot keep the garbage inside our houses,” said Rajesh Sharma, a Karnal resident.

Similarly, Bhanu Kalyan of Karnal’s Sadar Bazaar area said, “We are facing problems as the garbage is being dumped outside our houses.”

‘Blame government for this mess’

“We will continue our strike till our demands are met. The government is responsible for the increasing heaps of garbage,” said Inderjeet Chanalia, a protesting municipal worker.

Meanwhile, Karnal municipal commissioner Rajiv Mehta, in a contradictory statement, stated, “We are making all efforts to keep the city clean. I don’t know how somebody can claim there is garbage lying in the city, whereas we are getting appreciation from everywhere.”

“Though the strike is going on, we are doing our duty and involving people to join our cleanliness drives. But now the striking employees are opposing our move,” he added.

Including 217 regular employees, around 1,385 sanitation workers of Karnal are protesting under the banner of Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangh for the past one week. They are demanding regular jobs for the contractual employees, besides minimum salary of Rs 15,000 and other benefits.

First Published: May 17, 2018 14:36 IST