Almost after three years, the deadlock between A2Z garbage lifting company and Valmiki Samaj workers ended on Sunday, with both the parties reaching a compromise over garbage lifting in the city.
A2Z company, hired by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for collecting garbage from door to door and transporting it to the dumping sites, reached the compromise with the Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan. According to the compromise, the sweepers from Valmiki Samaj will continue collecting garbage from door to door but they will have to hand over garbage to A2Z vehicles or bins and not throw it in nooks and corners.
Talking to Newsline, Rajnish Mehra, CEO, A2Z company, said: “Valmiki Samaj was doubtful of we snatching their livelihoods. But today we have made it clear that they can keep doing their work like before collecting garbage from doorsteps but will not be allowed to throw it anywhere. They will put it in bins placed by us or at dumping sites from where our vehicles will further transport it.”
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Mehra added, “Now Valmiki Samaj will be given our uniforms which they have to wear while working and in the next couple of days, the process of distributing uniforms in all the wards will be done.”
Mehra said the “step will ensure a win-win situation for both the parties and make Ludhiana free from eyesores of garbage heaps”.
A2Z has agreed on providing health insurance to all Valmiki sweepers along with monthly health check-ups. Another major step taken has been to ensure that sweepers earn from the recyclable garbage.
“A2Z has agreed to buy plastic sheets and other recyclable material from Valmiki sweepers at market rates. We want to ensure that their livelihood is not affected because of us,” said Mehra.
The toll-free number run by A2Z for garbage-lifting complaints — 1800-1200-117 — was also shared with hundreds of Valmiki workers who came to meet Mehra and Joint Commissioner A S Sekhon at Circuit House on Sunday.
Surinder Kalyan, head, Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan, told Newsline, “We are completely satisfied with all the points made by A2Z and will be working in cooperation with them wearing their uniforms.”