Chennai

Conservancy workers to go on an indefinite strike

Garbage clearance will be affected because of the strike by conservancy staff. File

Garbage clearance will be affected because of the strike by conservancy staff. File  

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15,000 workers to protest privatisation of garbage clearance in ‘added’ areas

Conservancy workers of Chennai Corporation have announced an indefinite strike from Tuesday against privatisation of conservancy work in 254 sq. km. of the added areas in the city.

“Garbage clearance will be affected because of the strike. Over 80% of the 18,000 conservancy workers, including 6,919 permanent workers are expected to participate in the strike,” said P. Srinivasan, convenor of the federation of conservancy workers against privatisation.

Bids to open tomorrow

Corporation had floated a tender to adopt public private partnership (PPP) for conservancy in the eight added zones and the bids will be opened on Wednesday.

“Tenders should not be opened on Wednesday. Many workers will lose their livelihood,” said Mr. Srinivasan. As many as 8,246 conservancy workers hired under National Urban Livelihood Mission will also take part in the strike, he assured.

The conservancy workers are in a scramble to prevent the Corporation from identifying the private conservancy operator who is expected to begin work in April 2019.

Workers of the Electrical Department and the Mechanical Department will also participate in the strike. Streetlights and mosquito control operations will be affected on Tuesday, said the federation leaders.

“We have back up plans. A decision will be taken on Tuesday morning after assessing the situation,” said P.Madhusudhan Reddy, Deputy Commissioner (Health), Chennai Corporation. “We are moving towards high performance standards. The services contract in PPP mode will improve conservancy operations. Officials are talking to the workers, explaining the importance of the project,” he said.

The payment for the private conservancy operator will be linked to 37 key performance indicators such as cleanliness and source segregation. As per the new system, the private operator will also collect garden waste. Payment will be made only if the streets are clean, the official said.

Work in Teynampet, Kodambakkam and Adyar zones is not likely to be affected as garbage here is cleared by a private conservancy operator, Ramky Enviro Engineers. In the other 12 zones, conservancy work would take a hit.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:21:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/conservancy-workers-to-go-on-an-indefinite-strike/article25601357.ece

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