As thousands of striking sanitation workers of the East civic body protested near at Jantar Mantar, they were stopped by the Delhi police from taking their agitation to the parliament. In the visuals of the protest, the policemen can be seen using force to stop protesters from marching ahead.
The workers of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) have been on strike since September 12. Last week, they protested outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's home to press their demands -- regularisation of temporary workers, timely payment of their salaries and cashless medical card.
The EDMC has around 16,000 workers and only half of them are permanent employees.
This is the eighth strike by sanitation workers in the last four years. The streets are filled with heaps of garbage and the stench is unbearable, residents complain.
"There are piles of garbage everywhere. Diseases are spreading. When we go to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials, they say they are on strike as they are not getting their salaries," a resident said.
Similar strikes by sanitation workers in the national capital in the past have seen the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which runs the government, and the BJP, which heads the three civic bodies in Delhi, blaming each other for the mess.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief had tweeted, "The BJP has misled them. I will speak to the workers and tell them the truth. I will present facts before the sanitation workers and the citizens of Delhi. 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."
The Delhi government has released Rs 500 crore to civic bodies. The Supreme Court had asked if the centre or the Delhi Lieutenant Governor can also make a similar offer.
According to the AAP chief, the centre has refused to release funds. In a tweet, Mr Kejriwal said, "After an advice from the Supreme Court last week, the Delhi government gave Rs 500 crore to the MCD. But the centre, which owes Rs 5,000 crore to the MCD, has refused to give Rs 500 crore. So why should the citizens of Delhi vote for you in the Lok Sabha elections?"
The sanitation workers have refused to call off the strike till their demands are met.
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