Sanitation workers, Ludhiana MC officials spar over manual scavenging

Sanitation workers, Ludhiana MC officials spar over manual scavenging

The situation turned tense during a meeting of the Punjab State Safai Karamchari Commission and MC officials at the Circuit House as Commission chairman Geja Ram Valmiki announced to lodge an FIR against the officials for allegedly obstructing meeting proceedings. - File photo

Ludhiana, July 27

The situation turned tense during a meeting of the Punjab State Safai Karamchari Commission and MC officials at the Circuit House as Commission chairman Geja Ram Valmiki announced to lodge an FIR against the officials for allegedly obstructing meeting proceedings. He said an FIR would also be registered against officials responsible for manual scavenging in the Jugiana area.

On the other hand, MC officials blamed Valmiki of implicating them in a false case. Heated arguments were also exchanged between the two parties during the meeting.

The Commission chairman had earlier accused MC officials of forcing sewermen to do manual scavenging at Jugiana and had sought legal action against those concerned. Valmiki had called today’s meeting to discuss this issue.

Meanwhile, MC’s O&M officials also attended the meeting. When Valmiki raised the matter of lodging the FIR, the officials defended themselves. They said no sewerman was forced to enter the manhole by any official. Instead, they shared a video and accused the commission chairman of allegedly asking sewermen to enter the manhole.

The chairman then accused the officials of breaking the meeting protocol. An MC official said, “After attendance was marked in the meeting, the chairman announced to lodge an FIR against officials present.”

If the FIR was lodged against them, they would go on strike, the officials said. SDM Baljinder Singh and MC Joint Commissioner Kulpreet Singh, who were present during the meeting, also made efforts to control the situation but in vain. — TNS

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