Sanitation workers sit on relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar

A group of Municipal Corporation sanitation workers launched a relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar, demanding that the Delhi government and the civic bodies fulfill their pending demands including payment of arrears.

“The relay hunger strike began on December 1. Sanitation workers will continue the relay fast in groups of five at Jantar Mantar until our long-pending demands including payment of arrears, regularisation of contractual workers and cashless health cards are met with...,” said Sanjay Gehlot, president of Swatantra Mazdoor Vikas Sanyukt Morcha.

“It’s unfortunate that the sanitation workers are yet to receive their Diwali bonus. Payments of arrears and medical reimbursement have also not been made for a long time.

“When we go to the Municipal authorities they cite financial crisis and say that payments will be made after receiving funds from the Delhi government,” Gehlot added. Meanwhile, the issue of sanitation workers strike was on Wednesday raised in the Rajya Sabha by Rajkumar Dhoot. 

Replying to Dhoot’s question on the strike, Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said that sanitation workers of South and North Delhi Municipal Corporations did not go on strike.

He said, however, the sanitation staff of East Delhi Municipal Corporation went on strike demanding fulfillment of their demands like payment of wages, arrears and implementation of assorted welfare measures. “The matter has been taken up by East MCD with the Government of NCT of Delhi to improve its financial condition,” he added.

The EDMC, facing financial crisis, has been demanding release of pending funds from the Delhi government, along with two other Municipal Corporations in the Capital. Meetings regarding pending funds were held between Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Mayors and Commissioners of three Municipal Corporations last month but no solution has been found yet, said a senior Municipal Corporation official.

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