After thousands of striking sanitation workers of the East civic body protested near the Delhi chief minister's home, Arvind Kejriwal has agreed to meet them. Will tell them the "truth", he tweeted.
The workers of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), who have been on strike for over three weeks, protested near Kashmere Gate to press their demands today. They have been asking for regularisation of temporary workers, timely payment of their salaries and cashless medical card.
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.
The workers marched near Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's home, pushed barricades and demanded a meeting with him. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief 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."
Sanjit Chandel, President of the Delhi Pradesh Safai Mazdoor Union, told news agency ANI, "We are protesting since September 12, but the Chief Minister is not paying heed to our problems. We are being deprived of the basic facilities," he 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 Delhi government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court it would release Rs 500 crore within two days to civic bodies, which will help resolve crisis that has arisen due to the ongoing strike by sanitation workers of East Delhi Municipal Corporation.
But the sanitation workers have refused to call off the strike. "We want action," one of the workers said.
The EDMC has around 16,000 workers and only half of them are permanent employees.
The BJP-led EDMC on September 26 had decided to begin the process for permanent employment of contractual sanitation workers who were recruited after March 31, 1998.
The president of MCD Swachhata Karmchari Union, Sanjay Gahlot, however, said that since there was no assurance of this resolution reaching its desired end from the authorities side, they would continue their agitation in east Delhi.
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