The Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan members,who have been protesting against A2Z the private firm hired by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to oversee the door-to-door garbage lifting process in the city on Saturday approached Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Pratap Singh Bajwa with their set of demands.
Surinder Kalyan,head,Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan,who met Bajwa on his arrival at Circuit House,told Newsline: We met Bajwa saab and he has assured us of Congress support. Since the place was very crowded today,he has invited us to Raj Bhawan,Chandigarh,on April 10,where we will speak to him in detail.
Kayan also clarified that his organisation is not against A2Z picking garbage from the dumping grounds but wants the firm to stop its door-to-door operations. We should be allowed to collect garbage from homes to collection points of MC,which is our prime source of income. We have no objection if A2Z disposes off garbage from collection points to dumping grounds, Kalyan added.
Pratap Singh Bajwa,PPCC president,talking to Newsline over phone confirmed the development and said: We had a small meeting and they told me their problem in brief. I have invited them to Raj Bhawan on April 10 and after listening to details,we will support them in whatever way we can.
Meanwhile,despite the Valmiki Samajs persistent protests,the Municipal Corporation is firm on allowing A2Z to continue with door-to-door garbage collection in the city. Valmiki workers are alleging that with the hiring of the firm for the whole city,their only source of income is lost.
At present,A2Z collects refuse from more than 25 wards and the MC has confirmed that very soon they will work in all 75 wards of the city. While Valmiki Samaj is adamant on its demand,MC has made it clear that valmiki employees will not be unemployed as Rs 6,000 per month with PF amount has already been offered to them. Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal too has directed the MC to stick with the private firm.