Sanitary workers and other employees owing allegiance to the Tiruchi Corporation All Officers’ and Employees’ Association staged a demonstration in front of the Ariyamangalam zonal office on Thursday after two sanitary workers of the civic body were allegedly assaulted by members of Thanthai Periyar Corporation Sanitary Workers’ Association.
A few members of the Thanthai Periyar Corporation Sanitary Workers’ Association had reportedly taken objection to the two sanitary workers cleaning a storm-water drain near Palakkarai on the grounds that the Supreme Court had banned manual scavenging.
When the sanitary workers, Murugan and Palanisamy, went about their task, the group reportedly prevented them from doing the job and assaulted them.
Protesting the assault on the sanitary workers, members of the Corporation All Officers’ and Employees’ Association resorted to an agitation in front of the zonal office and demanded stern action against Saravanan and others. S.M. Shanmugam, president of the association, who led the agitation, alleged that the president of the Thanthai Periyar Corporation Sanitary Workers’ Association, Saravanan, and a few others had assaulted the sanitary workers twice near the Prabhat Theatre Junction, the work spot, and later at the Ariyamangalam Zonal Office.
He said the sanitary workers were engaged only in clearing silt that accumulated in storm-water drains.
Only manual scavenging in underground drains and drains carrying human excreta had been banned.
The storm-water drains did not carry any human waste and silt was being cleared as part of the steps taken by the corporation to improve sanitation in the city, he said.“The assault on the sanitary workers, especially by members of an association, s, is condemnable. If the assailants are not arrested we will launch a stir,” he said.