Amritsar: Sanitation workers protest, seek fulfilment of demands : The Tribune India

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Amritsar: Sanitation workers protest, seek fulfilment of demands

Also want security of staff deputed on night sanitation shifts

Amritsar: Sanitation workers protest, seek fulfilment of demands

Sanitation workers during a demonstration at the MC office at Ranjit Avenue in Amritsar on Tuesday. Photo: Vishal Kumar



Tribune News Service

Charanjit Singh Teja

Amritsar, June 18

On the call of the Safai Mazdoor Union, a large number of sanitation workers led by president Vinod Kumar Bitta and chairman Surinder Tonna staged a demonstration against the Amritsar Municipal Corporation commissioner here on Tuesday.

The union leaders are upset over the night sanitation drive initiated by MC Commissioner Harpreet Singh. The union leaders said they are concerned about the safety of workers who work till midnight. “Everyone is aware of the law and order situation in the city. As drug addicts do not hesitate to attack residents in broad daylight, it is not safe for the sanitation workers to return home at midnight.

Addicts often attack to snatch mobile phones and bikes from poor workers. We had asked officials to also ensure the safety of workers but no one paid heed to our suggestion. So we have sent a notice to the MC Commissioner to stop night sanitation otherwise we will go on strike after 72 hours,” said Vinod Kumar Bitta, president, Safai Mazdoor Union.

The sanitation workers said due to deep-rooted corruption in the MC, officials failed to address the garbage issue in the city and it was the major reason for the defeat of the incumbent government in the LS elections. “The solid waste management company hired by the MC has been collecting Rs 100 and Rs 50 per house. They are also collecting money from all the commercial establishments. The MC pays huge funds to the firm, but garbage is not being lifted properly. The tractor trolley and mechanical sweeping machines are being used for misappropriation of diesel,” said Bitta.

The union leaders said sanitation staff are not getting their salaries on time and the government is not recruiting new workers against vacant posts.

Meanwhile, MC Commissioner Harpreet Singh said all sanitation staff are part of our family and the civic body is committed to their welfare. He said since the day he joined as the MC Commissioner, his main focus was on sanitation and staff of the municipal corporation are very dedicated and doing their job very well.

He said being the head of the organization, it is his duty to make efforts to provide salary to the staff on time. He said he assured the staff that the municipal corporation is making efforts to give salaries to its staff by the first week of each month. He further said all other demands of the union would be taken up with the government as the recruitment process is the prerogative of the government.

Commissioner Harpreet Singh said, “Since the start of the night sanitation of various important roads in the city, many citizen welfare organisations, business associations and NGOs called him personally and appreciated the MC’s step.” However the security and wellbeing of staff is the responsibility of the corporation.

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