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Agitated pourakarmikas begin relay fast

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Last resort:The pourakarmikas have threatened to strike work from May 31 if the Government does not concede their demands.
Last resort:The pourakarmikas have threatened to strike work from May 31 if the Government does not concede their demands.

Staff Correspondent

‘Withdraw privatisation of garbage collection and disposal'

MYSORE: Pourkarmikas working in the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) began a relay fast in front of the corporation office here on Monday demanding immediate withdrawal of privatisation of garbage collection and disposal, and regularisation of services of pourakarmikas working under the contract system.

The pourakarmikas have threatened to strike work from May 31 if the Government fails to consider their demands favourably.

The former Mayor Narayan, who is leading the agitation by the pourakarmikas, told The Hindu that nearly 700 pourakarmikas permanently employed by the corporation, 1,400 pourakarmikas working on contract basis and 140 people who clean underground drains would strike work from May 31 if their demands were not met.

“We will be on fast for five days without disturbing work. After May 31, garbage collection and disposal will be stopped if our demands are turned down,” Mr. Narayan said.

He opposed privatisation of garbage collection and disposal in several wards and demanded that it be scrapped immediately.

“The services of pourakarmikas working on contract basis should be regularised. In case, the Government needs time to look into our demands, it should grant pay on the policy of equal work, equal pay,” he demanded.

Appeal

Mayor Sandesh Swamy met the protesters and appealed to them to call off the agitation.

Mr. Narayan said, “The Mayor offered to pay Rs. 4,300 to the pourakarmikas working under contract system, but we have rejected it. The strike will go on,” he said.

Mr. Narayan said that the pourakarmikas would take out a “broomstick procession” from the Town Hall to the MCC office on May 31 if their demands were not met by then.

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