The National Green Tribunal today took authorities to task for sanitation services in east Delhi coming to a standstill and sought the response from the Centre, the Delhi government and recognised workers’ union over employees’ strike due to non-payment of salary.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the Environment Ministry, the Ministry of Urban Development, the AAP government and sanitation workers’ union asking them what steps have been taken to remove waste from the streets and to apprise it about reasons of a deadlock on the issue.
The direction came after advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), told the bench that urgent directions were needed as EDMC employees were on indefinite strike since January 5 due to non-payment of salary. He also sought the tribunal’s intervention to end the deadlock.
The EDMC lawyer said there was an extraordinary situation and sought directions for immediate release of salary to sanitation workers saying that the ‘dhalaos’ were overflowing with waste. Since 2015, east corporation sanitation workers have gone on strike five times over non-payment of salary. This time, it’s over non-payment of their November and December salaries.
The NGT had earlier directed all municipal authorities to draw up “an integrated waste management plan for Delhi, identify landfill sites and improve condition of existing sites,” among other issues.