Pourakarmikas' stir turns many parts of City into garbage dumps

Pourakarmikas' stir turns many parts of City into garbage dumps

The entire city turned a virtual garbage dumpyard on Wednesday, after 16,000 BBMP pourakarmikas struck work, refusing to pick up nearly 3,000 tonnes of garbage.

Bangaloreans might have to bear the stench of uncleared garbage for a few more days, as the sanitation workers are on an “indefinite” strike against what they alleged were “personal vendetta” and “harassment” by the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF).

Almost all the 4,000 BBMP pourakarmikas and 12,000 contract workers employed by private garbage contractors joined the strike called by the BBMP Employees’ and Officers’ Union on Wednesday. That meant piling up of uncleared garbage on streets across the City.

Sources in the BBMP say things would worsen from Thursday, as each day the City produces 3,000 tonnes of garbage. “We are helpless. On Wednesday, not a single truck lifted the garbage from the streets on account of the strike,” said a source.

According to Palike officials, the BBMP Employees’ Union is using the pourakarmikas to pressure the State Government to remove BMTF chief R P Sharma. “Our unity is our strength.  The state government cannot celebrate Independence Day without the support of BBMP. Private garbage contractors are supporting us. They have assured us that they will not lift garbage unless our demands are met,” said Subramanyam, the union president.

Asked about his efforts to resolve the issue, Palike Commissioner Shankarlinge Gowda told Deccan Herald that his “hands are tied”. He said the Palike was solely dependent on the pourakarmikas to clear the garbage.

“As BBMP Commissioner, I have approached the Law Minister, the Urban Development Department (UDD) and all the officials under whom the matter could be resolved. It is now up to the State Government to take a call on the matter,” Gowda said. It was the State government, and not the Palike, that could “resolve the issue” with the BMTF, he added.

Meanwhile, the Palike also shut its doors to citizens who approached the Palike for its other services including issue of birth and death certificates, khatha transfers and changes apart from building plan sanctions etc.

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