Auto drivers' strike sporadically disrupts garbage collection

Auto drivers' strike sporadically disrupts garbage collection

The strike by drivers of garbage collecting autos and helpers to pourakarmikas demanding regularization of their jobs caused partial disruption in waste collection in the city.

Last year, the state government regularised the jobs of the pourakarmikas that offered job security, better pay, Employees State Insurance (ESI) and also Provident Fund (PF) benefits for a specific group of people.

Most of all, regularization had freed pourakarmikas from clutches of the contractors. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, however, did not include drivers of garbage collection autos and helpers.

The issue came up for discussion at the BBMP budget meeting, even as helpers on Tuesday refused to lift the garbage collected by pourakarmikas and deposit them in the auto.

BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said the civic body is prepared to help the drivers and assistants. "Right now, auto drivers are demanding regularization of their job similar to pourakarmikas. However, if the auto drivers agree to purchase a rickshaw for themselves, then we can initiate talks with a bank to help them avail loans so that they can own the vehicle," he said.

Each ward will get 50 autos with drivers getting a chance to own their own vehicle, Prasad said, adding that Hyderabad has implemented a similar scheme.

BBMP will hold a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss the demand.