People breathe sigh of relief as workers begin to clear trash

People breathe sigh of relief as workers begin to clear trash

People living in east and north Delhi have something to cheer about as the few protesting municipal sanitation workers unions finally called off their strike on the 15th day on Wednesday.

The striking employees’ unions said they have called off their agitation till Monday.
“We are calling off the strike today to save people from further inconvenience and the sanitation workers will resume their duties immediately. We think the court will give a positive decision on Monday,” said Sanjay Gehlot, president of Swatantra Mazdoor Vikas Sanyukt Morcha.

Only a few sanitation employees’ unions were continuing their agitation. On Monday, a majority of safai karamcharis and engineers suspended their agitation over unpaid wages till Wednesday.

Employees’ unions agreed before the High Court to call off their protest on the condition that salaries would be credited to their accounts within next two days. Soon after the court order, municipal auto-tippers could be seen lifting garbage from the streetside dumps.

While doctors had resumed their duties on Friday, municipal teachers and other employees had ended their protests on Saturday.

People heaved a sigh of relief as they have been waiting for the strike to get over for a long time.
‘Epidemic-like situation’

“It’s so good to see sanitation employees back on work. Garbage can be seen littered everywhere in the limits of east Delhi. If the strike would have continued for a couple of days more, we would be facing an epidemic-like situation,” said Sourav Rohilla, who lives in east Delhi’s New Ashok Nagar.

“Garbage has been piling up near the market due to the ongoing strike. It’s a much-needed relief to Delhiites, especially east and north Delhi residents,” said Arvind Ravi, a Shahadra resident.

“We were also facing traffic woes due to the garbage littered on roadside,” he added.
Fund-starved North and East corporations’ employee,s including sanitation workers, teachers and engineers, went on strike on January 27 demanding timely payment of salaries and clearance of arrears.

 On January 30, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff joined the agitation. Even sanitation workers of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation struck work showing solidarity with their co-workers.
On Wednesday last week, the city government offered a bailout package of Rs 693 crore, of which 551 crore was in the form of loan, to the North and East corporations to be able to pay salaries to their employees.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the education budget would be readjusted to arrange the Rs 551 crore “loan”.

Some days later, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung gave Rs 300 crore loan from Delhi Development Agency to both the municipalities.