New Delhi: A section of East Delhi sanitation workers tonight called off their five-day-old strike after receiving two months’ salaries, raising hopes that the health threats emanating from tonnes of garbage lying in residential areas will soon end.
A meeting with all sanitation workers unions tonight was successful with negotiations made regarding calling off the strike, an East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) official said.
“They have called off the strike. The refuse removal depot at Jhilmil has been freed of protesters and trucks are now being sent for garbage lifting,” he said.
However, leaders of MCD Swachata Karmchari Union said they will take a call on ending their strike after consulting members tomorrow.
“We will consult sanitation workers in a meeting tomorrow before taking a decision about the strike,” said Sanjay Gehlot, president of the union.
Earlier today, after meeting a delegation of sanitation workers, Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia told reporters that Rs 119 crore has been provided to the EDMC for providing salaries.
He took to Twitter to claim that the AAP government has given to the MCDs more funds than any other government.
“Where is all this money going? Who is bungling all the money?” he said in the tweet posting details of funds allocated to the civic bodies in the past five years.
Sisodia had also met the EDMC commissioner, mayor, and representatives of RWAs to discuss the situation.
Earlier, in a meeting with the mayor and the commissioner of EDMC, sanitation workers unions left notes that they would resume duty from tonight. But municipal corporation officials said the work was not resumed because the sanitation workers wanted to discuss the matter further.
“We will not obey instructions of the municipal officials and Delhi government till sanitation workers get salaries in their accounts. Till a permanent solution to the problem of East MCD is found the strike will continue,” Gehlot had said.
Mayor Satya Sharma said that the Rs 119 crore received from the Delhi government has bee used up in paying salaries of November and December.
A section of sanitation workers wanted to resume work but they were not doing so under “pressure” from their colleagues who want to continue it for their other demands, she had said.
There are around 17,000 sanitation workers in EDMC, including permanent and contractual ones, who went on strike on January 5 in support of their demands, primarily payment of pending salaries and arrears amounts.