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Workers’ stir hits garbage clearance

Special Correspondent
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More than 35,000 tonnes of waste lies unattended to in city; ESMA Act in force

Garbage collection vehicles remain confined to the parking lot after the outsourced employees of the GHMC went on a strike on Monday.- Photo: Mohammed Yousuf
Garbage collection vehicles remain confined to the parking lot after the outsourced employees of the GHMC went on a strike on Monday.- Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

Garbage clearance and daily sanitation works in the city were badly affected on Monday after the outsourced employees of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) joined the State-wide stir demanding hike in wages and other benefits.

According to the union leaders, the sanitation works were brought to a grinding halt on Monday after more than 24,755 outsourced employees of the civic body went on strike.

All the garbage lifting vehicles remained in the parking yard while workers held protest meets and according to the union leaders, more than 35,000 metric tonne of garbage, that is removed daily from the city, was not attended to.

Bhagyanagar Municipal Employees Union general secretary Vinay Kapoor said all the 16,000 plus workers engaged in sweeping stayed away from their duties along with 2,500 odd workers in the transport wing and another 2,000 involved in malaria work.

GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu held a round of talks with the JAC of Trade Unions around noon but it failed to resolve the issue given the State-wide nature of the agitation. “Talks with the government are going on and if something fruitful does not emerge, the strike will continue on Tuesday,” Mr. Kapoor said.

During the meeting, the Commissioner appealed to the union leaders not to stop garbage vehicles keeping in view the public health. He also informed them about the GHMC writing to the government on increasing the salaries in proportion to the 10{+t}{+h}PRC recommendations.

Later in the evening, Mr. Krishna Babu held a meeting with department heads and zonal commissioners and directed them to be ready with contingency plan by Tuesday evening. The police was also approached for protection at transfer stations, parking yards and the offices.

The officials were asked to take the responsibility of hiring vehicles such as JCBs, 10 and 25 tonner garbage lifting vehicles basing on the proposed contingency plan and concentrate on areas such as hotels and markets. They have been directed to be in touch with the police and send vehicles in a convoy from transfer stations to the dumping yards.

The ESMA Act is in force and any attack on GHMC properties would be viewed seriously and strict action against the culprits initiated, Mr. Krishna Babu added.

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