For east Delhi residents, this Diwali season would mean a stench-filled air, as scores of EDMC sanitation workers today went on an indefinite strike over various issues, including non-payment of salaries. Authorities of the cash-strapped East Delhi Municipal Corporation sought to pacify the agitating workers, but to no avail. “We were called in by the EDMC authorities, and we met the mayor and the municipal commissioner. The commissioner told us that the corporation is facing a financial crunch. So, we will continue to protest,” said Sanjay Gehlot, president of the MCD Swachhata Karmchari Union.
He claimed that the union has about 11,000 members, and most of them have joined the stir, meaning east Delhi is staring at a garbage crisis. Patparganj, Mayur Vihar, Gandhi Nagar are some of the most densely populated areas of Delhi and several unauthorised colonies are also located there. “Our demands include payment of salaries due to various employees, arrears and medical cashless card, retirement benefits and pension,” he said. “Tomorrow we will burn the effigy of Mayor Neema Bhagat and throw garbage in front of her house to lodge our protest,” Gehlot said.
Yesterday, the civic body had said that the mayor met members of some of the unions, and assured them that all their “legitimate demands would be met”. “Safai karancharis are the backbone of the EDMC and the corporation would make all possible efforts to fulfill their demands, including the one about issuing a cashless card,” she had said yesterday.