Delhi: No Garbage Collection For Over 26 Days, East Delhi Sanitation Workers Refuse To Relent
The problems of East Delhi residents do not look to be getting over anytime soon as the feud between the Delhi government and the sanitation workers continue. Even after 26 days of the strike, sanitation workers refuse to get back to their jobs until their demands are met. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has come forward to speak on this matter and has accused BJP of playing dirty politics and misleading the sanitation workers.
According to Firstpost, Kejriwal has questioned the East Delhi Municipal Corporation(EDMC) and asked, “How is it possible that the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) which could pay salaries in the year 2014 to 2015 in half the funds that it got from Delhi government then, now says it is unable to do so when it is getting almost double the amount?”
Why are the sanitation workers on a strike?
Since September 12, the sanitation workers of East Delhi have been on strike, demanding regularization of about 3,000 contractual workers who were enrolled after 1998, regular payment of salaries and clearance of dues. For the past 25 days, the residents of areas like Pandav Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Karkardooma of East Delhi have been facing the brunt of uncleared garbage.
Reportedly, residents are worried about contamination and have pleaded to the government to resolve this issue as soon as possible. This is the eighth time these workers had to go on strike to demand their wages.
ANI reported that the sanitation workers on October 4, intensified their protests and many of them even marched towards the residence of Delhi CM. Sanjit Chandel, President of the Delhi Pradesh Safai Mazdoor Union expressed his disappointment with the Delhi government. “ We are protesting for so many days but the chief minister is not paying heed to our problems. We meet the chief minister but he did not help us”, Chandel said.
Residents hoped for some respite after the Delhi government on October 3 proposed in the apex court that it would release Rs 500 crores to pay the pending wages of the sanitation workers. Reportedly, situations did not return to normalcy after this as the workers have refused to end the strike.
What the EDMC has to say
Even as the workers have claimed that their strike will continue, the EDMC has reportedly issued a circular which directed all sanitation workers to resume work from October 6, failure of which will result in the removal of the workers from their post.
Sanitation workers union leader Sanjay Gehlot told The Times Of India that it not possible for them to get back to work until their demands are met. He said that on Monday, October 8, they will protest at Jantar Mantar and march towards PMO.
Meanwhile, the EDMC mayor Bipin Bihari Singh has slammed the Delhi government for not providing adequate funds and appealed to not make it a political issue.
A senior official of the department told the Hindustan Times that EDMC generates about 26,00 tonnes of waste every day. With the strike, they were able to deal with 1800-200 tonnes of garbage from Dhalao but no arrangements have been made for the garbage lying on the roads.
The Chief Minister addresses the situation
Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to address this situation. The chief minister has said that he will meet the workers and hear them out. “ I am going to talk to them and present facts before them. I am worried about them. They have to protest every two months to get their salaries.”, Kejriwal tweeted.
Following his accusations on the Bhartiya Janta Party, Kejriwal said that had the BJP and MCDs demanded the amount of Rs 448 per person which is entitled to every municipality according to the 14th Finance Commission, they would have Rs 5,000 crore, which would have been sufficient to fulfil the demands of sanitation workers.
The Logical Indian take
While the sanitation workers and the Delhi government are caught in a tussle, the residents are the ones who have to bear the brunt of it. Parts of the national capital have been left littered because the workers refuse to resume their work. The Logical Indian urges the concerned authorities to come up with a solution which is befitting to the present situation. It would not only bring respite to the residents but also bring an end to the workers’ woes.