Heaps of garbage likely as contractors plan to go on strike

Heaps of garbage likely as contractors plan to go on strike

 Trash lies uncollected at Basavanagudi during an earlier strike by the contractors. DH file photo/S K Dinesh

The city is staring at yet another garbage crisis as garbage truck owners and contractors plan to stage a protest over clearance of pending payments. 

The garbage lorry contractors are upset with the BBMP for not paying their contract amount of Rs 200 crore, which has been pending for the past five months.

S N Balasubramaniam, general secretary, Bengaluru Mahanagara Swachate Lorry Malikara Mattu Guttigedarara Sangha, told DH: "We haven't been paid for the past five months,  even after several requests. Hence, we have decided to hold a protest from Monday till our demands are met."

The truck owners also want that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) be paid now. "The BBMP has withheld 10 per cent of our payment from August to December 2017. There is no need for us to pay the service tax, but yet the civic body issues notices asking for service tax on the contract," he added.

The authorities, however, have scheduled a meeting on Monday to discuss the issues with the aggrieved members.

"We have already spoken to the garbage truck owners and contractors. The issue will be sorted out by Monday," assured Mayor Sampath Raj. 

Home Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister G Parameshwara has also called for a meeting on Monday.

"The city development minister will meet us on Monday to discuss the issues. We will explain the situation to him and put forward our complaints about the officers who are not responding to our grievances," Balasubramaniam said.

Pourakarmikas' pay pending 

Recently, the pourakarmikas staged a protest, asking the authorities to clear their wages, kept in arrears for the past five months. The BBMP officials had promised the sanitary workers their salary by Saturday. 

"When we held the protest on May 5, the officials of the civic body had promised to release the pending payments by Saturday. But as it was a second Saturday, the payments have not been made. We will wait till Monday and decide the next course of action accordingly," said Lekha Adavi, an activist from the BBMP Guttige Pourakarmikara Sanghatane.