Thursday, January 28, 2016

In war of funds, Delhiites will be first to suffer

APPREHENSION City residents fear streets littered with garbage will return to haunt them if the strike continues

NEW DELHI: Over a lakh municipal workers went on an indefinite strike on Wednesday, threatening a re-run of the last year’s mess when sanitation workers struck work — streets littered with garbage, choked sewers and poorly-maintained roads.

This time, however, it won’t just be sanitation. The civic bodies run a major part of the capital, providing key services such as sanitation, health, education, administrative services, licences, etc.

Sanitation staff, engineers, doctors, teachers and administrative staff have all pledged to make the strike successful. Most of the corporation offices in north and east Delhi may not see any work at all till the strike is over.

Residents of the city, however, hope the Delhi government resolve the matter before it becomes difficult again to walk on the streets.

“If money is due to the MCD and it’s not being cleared by the government, then definitely the AAP regime is responsible. We have already faced the garbage menace twice last year and we don’t want that situation again. The government must understand the problem of the people and the issue must be resolved without any more inconvenience to the aam aadmi,” BS Vohra, president of East Delhi RWAs Joint Front (Federation), said.

Rajendra Gupta, member of Model Town F-Block RWA, recounted the misery people faced in his area in October last year.

“Last time too, due to nonpayment of salaries to sanitation staff, garbage was dumped at every nook and corner of our neighbourhood, including the main road leading to Azadpur Mandi. That was removed after 10 days. It led to unhygienic conditions and made it difficult for us to even cross the lanes. We tried getting it removed on our own but were stopped from doing that. We ultimately had no other choice but to wait for things to calm down,” Gupta said.

“In the slugfest between the Delhi government and corporations, the common man is suffering,” he added.

Saurabh Gandhi, general secretary, United Residents of Delhi and resident welfare association of Rana Pratap Bagh, felt it was inevitable as the civic bodies’ workers had not been paid their salary for months.

“There is no denying the fact that staff should be paid salary on time because they, too, like all of us, require money for daily expenses. It is unfortunate that they have not been paid money for many months,” he said.

The civic body workers, however, are firm on pursuing their agitation path.

A teacher working with a school falling under the north civic body said, “Half of our school teachers are participating in strike every day. Children are being asked to go back home.”

with thanks : Hindustan Times

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