Despite the contingency measures sought to be put in place by the GHMC, sanitation works in the city remained affected due to the strike by contract and outsourced workers for the third day on Monday.
Since Saturday, most of the city roads and streets have not been swept and at several places, the garbage has started to pile up raising a stink. Nearly 25,000 contract workers, including those in the entomology and transport wings, went on strike demanding among others, a hike in wages from Rs.6,700 to Rs.16,700.
On an average, around 4,000 metric tonnes (MT) of garbage is lifted everyday from the city by these sanitation workers and for the last three days a major part of the refuse had been gathering on the streets and bins , which the civic body has been trying to remove.
As an immediate measure, GHMC Commissioner Somesh Kumar pressed into service one vehicle for each of the wards for lifting garbage, but absence of the large contingent of regular work force has been a hindering factor.
The Union leaders maintained that the city was already littered with more than 10,000 MT of garbage which would keep accumulating every passing day. “The roads and streets are looking dirty already and if the government does not take a decision in favour of our demands, the citizens are going to face hardships,” warned a workers’ union representative.
On Monday afternoon, the contract and outsourced workers held protests at all the offices of the GHMC. In front of the head office, scores of agitators gathered for a dharna which resulted in the security personnel closing down the gates and police rushing to the spot and shifting them away in vans. Even the other regular staff and visitors had a tough time gaining entrance.