Strike withdrawn, but waste yet to be cleared off many streets

A number of areas hit as civic workers yet to fully get back to work

Strike withdrawn, but waste yet to be cleared off many streets

 A day after the state government invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against garbage contractors and pourakarmikas, sanitation workers were back to work on Sunday. Most of them were seen lifting garbage across the city.

For the third time in three months, the contractors went on a flash protest on Saturday against the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) decision to implement the direct payment system for pourakarmikas. The strike brought waste clearance to a halt.

Although pourakarmikas have withdrawn the protest, garbage collection in some parts of the city remained affected on Sunday. The festive season added to the problem.

“We can understand the problem of the poor pourakarmikas. The government and the BBMP should act fast and oblige them with what they are asking for. The tussle between the authorities and pourakarmikas is creating garbage problems. For the last two days, the BBMP has failed to address the issue,” Muthu Raj, of Vyalikaval, said.

Kavitha R, of Rajajinagar, said: “Garbage in our locality has not been cleared. A neighbouring vacant site is filled with waste. It may stink and make the road look uglier if it rains.”

Vivek Gowda, of Dattatreya Temple Street, near Palace Guttahalli, said there were heaps of garbage by the roadside and it was impossible to walk on the streets.

Mangala, a home-maker from T Dasarahalli, said: “Wet waste attracts rodents, many of which enter homes looking for food.

“At night, stray dogs roam the area looking for food near mounds of garbage.”

The situation is similar at JC Road, Sampangiram Nagar, Vijayanagar, Vasanthnagar, Palace Guttahalli, Dodda Mavalli, Majestic, Malleswaram, Dasarahalli and other places.

Apart from the stench, the garbage could pose a health risk, too. A general physician at a BBMP hospital said: “Garbage mixed with rainwater could lead to diseases such as dengue, malaria and chikungunya. It is easy for mosquitoes to breed and spread the deadly disease.”

A BBMP official said: “With the strike called off, we will make sure that normal collection of garbage is undertaken by the BBMP. Pourakarmikas have already started working after ESMA was invoked.”

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