East Delhi witnessed a garbage spill on the streets a second time this year. Several parts of the district including Patparganj, Mandawali, Preet Vihar and Geeta Colony saw large heaps of garbage on the roads on Monday morning.
The situation was the result of a two-day holiday for the safai karamcharis — Independence Day, followed by Sunday.
However, the East Municipal Corporation clarified that there was no strike by the safai karamcharis or a slowing down in the pace of garbage collection over the weekend. East Delhi mayor Harshdeep Malhotra told The Indian Express that garbage collection was a round-the-clock operation. He said it was likely that there may have been a delay.
“Dhalaos (garbage collection points) are cleaned throughout the week. But it is possible that there may have been less staff available during the Independence Day weekend. I have checked with my chief engineer. Any delays in collection have been dealt with and all dhalaos were cleaned by afternoon,” the mayor said.
In a repeat of scenes from June, pictures from East Delhi showed garbage spilling on to the roads — almost several metres away from the dhalaos. This part of the capital saw massive amounts of garbage accumulating on the roads earlier this year after sanitation workers of the East civic body threw garbage on the streets in order to get the government’s attention. They were protesting against non-payment of their salaries for over two months.
Speculations of a strike grew on Monday, when residents stepped outside their houses to find garbage raising a stink on the streets.
Rajendra Mewati, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Safai Mazdoor Congress, confirmed that the safai karamcharis were not on strike and the delay in cleaning the dhalaos “could be attributed to staff shortage” due to the holiday.