The East civic body hoped that in the next 48 hours, the garbage situation in East Delhi would go back to normal. But despite claims that the strike is over, 17 sanitation workers’ unions are continuing their agitation, claiming that their demands are yet to be met.
According to standing committee chairman of the civic body, Lata Gupta, a total of 4,680 metric tonnes of garbage was cleared by Saturday evening. “All efforts are being made to clear garbage from roads to make them motorable. After clearing trash from dhalaos, disinfectant is being sprayed. We hope the situation will go back to normal in 48 hours,” she said.
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But with a section of workers still agitating, officials admitted that their estimate might be a bit too optimistic. While some roads were cleared overnight, most garbage dumps in smaller lanes continue to overflow. “We are still not working at full strength. But we hope that the issue will be settled soon,” an official said.
Officials further pointed to the minutes of the meetings between them and representatives of the Rashtriya Safai Mazdoor Congress (RSMC) that had declared the strike to be over on Friday.
Civic body officials claimed the RSMC was an umbrella body of the corporation sanitation workers unions, headed by former Congress MLA Veer Singh Dhingan.
“Other unions are still on strike but they aren’t officially recognised. The strike is over and these unions are trying to mislead other workers,” a corporation spokesperson said.
But the 17 unions still on strike said they would continue the agitation. “Our demands aren’t limited to salary payment. We want a stable solution. There is also the issue of making temporary employees permanent,” Fakira Sody of Delhi Pradesh Safai Mazdoor Union said.
Dilip Parcha of Akhil Bhartiya Safai Mazdoor Congress reiterated the demands and said, “The issue of making temporary employees permanent isn’t one where the corporation will have to bear any extra cost. It’s simply a question of who will make the decision. We will not stop our agitation unless these demands are met.”