NEW DELHI: With sanitation workers continuing their protest over the non-payment of their dues, Delhi residents have been lamenting over the piles of garbage lying on the streets. The residents have been voicing out their fears of infectious diseases that might spread because of garbage on the roads.
"There are piles of garbage everywhere, diseases are spreading. When we go to MCD officials, they say they are on strike as they are not getting their salaries," a resident said.
The striking sanitation workers of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) had on Thursday staged a protest near the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to press for their demands. However, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government held the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responsible and alleged that the latter was playing "dirty politics". The cash-strapped EDMC is ruled by the BJP
"Sanitation workers are protesting outside my residence. BJP has misled them. I am going to talk to them and present facts before them. I am really worried about the sanitation arrangements in the city and the workers. They have to protest every two months to get their salaries," Kejriwal tweeted.
Kejriwal also met representatives of some organisations of sanitation workers and placed facts related to funds released by the Delhi government to the municipal corporations. "In 2014-15 when Delhi was under the President's Rule, EDMC was given Rs 396 crore out of which Rs 45 crore was deducted as recovery of loan. During 2017-18, the Delhi government provided Rs 724 crore to EDMC and no interest on the outstanding loan was deducted," according to a Delhi government statement.
"How is it possible that EDMC which could pay salaries in 2014-15 in half the funds that it got from Delhi government then, now says it is unable to do so when it is getting almost double the amount?" it said.
The workers have been on strike since September 12, seeking payment of their pending salaries and regularisation of contract workers.