Breathe easy, stir called off

Breathe easy, stir called off

Mayor promises sweet news by Monday evening

Breathe easy, stir called off

The officers and employees of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike called off their strike temporarily on Friday, following the promise of some ‘change’ by Monday.

The withdrawal of the stir came with a rider that the government should amend its 1996 rule regarding the formation of the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF), a police wing entrusted with power to protect government and local bodies' properties, besides curbing violations of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act.

The Palike Officers’ and Employees’ Union may resume its strike from Tuesday if the government fails to meet the demands.

As the garbage pile-up turned Bangalore into a Garbage City on the third day of the strike, the Palike administration almost conceded to the demands of the employees and agreed to find a way out in consultation with the government.

After several rounds of meeting from the morning, Commissioner Shankarlinge Gowda and Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy succeeded to end the logjam in the afternoon when the office-bearers of the Union led by its president R Subramanyam agreed to withdraw the strike for the time being. “We are in talks with the chief minister and the Home minister. Both have promised to review the 1996 order which created the BMTF. The government has said it would look into what you have been repeatedly terming as injustice.  By Monday evening you will get some sweet news,”Mayor Venkatesh Murthy told the agitating employees.

Garbage heaps
The City roads were littered with garbage on the third day of the strike as garbage contractors expressed their solidarity with the Palike staff.

Residents waded through mounds of garbage in the areas considered face of ‘Brand Bangalore.’ While MG Road remained clean, its backyard, Church Street, presented a different scene, with garbage strewn all around. The KR Market was a in a mess and the situation was no different in Koramangala, BTM Layout, Jayanagar, JP Nagar, parts of Basavanagudi, Hanumanthanagar, Adugodi, Shivajinagar, Frazer Town, Shanthinagar, Commercial Street, HRBR Layout, HSR Layout, Chamarajpet, Chickpet, Yeshawantpur and Malleswaram.

‘Not right’
Home Minister R Ashoka, who is also the in charge for Bangalore, has said it was not right on the part of the BMTF to file FIRs against Palike engineers.
He said the action should have been initiated only after proper inquiry and spot inspection, and the Task Force just cannot go on filing cases.
“We will see that BMTF falls in line as per the guidelines in the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act,” Ashoka said.