Hundreds of party workers and MLAs of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) took to the streets in Delhi to clean up the garbage that has been piling up because of the ongoing strike by sanitation workers. Over 60,000 sanitation workers of BJP-ruled municipal bodies have been on strike for the last 5 days over non-payment of dues and arrears.
AAP legislators including several ministers joined the PWD taskforce, which was pressed into action on Saturday to shift garbage to landfill sites, particularly in East and North Delhi where the strike has had maximum impact. More than 2,000 Delhi Jal Board workers also joined them in the cleanliness drive.
Reports said that sanitation workers clashed with the cleanliness drive taskforce and threatened that the situation in the city may “deteriorate” if the government continued to engage the PWD workers. They also maintained that they will continue with their protest until their “just” demands are met.
“The situation may deteriorate if the government continues to engage PWD workers in cleaning the city when sanitation workers are on an indefinite strike,” said Rajendra Mewati, General Secretary of the United Front of MCD Employees.
In the Patparganj constituency, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia also took part the cleanliness drive. He attacked the BJP-led civic bodies and referred to allegations of “salary scam” in the corporations. He said the government was looking for a “permanent solution” to the problem.
“We have already paid them (corporations) funds for clearing salaries. We cannot let people live amid garbage. Hence, we have undertaken the cleanliness drive,” claimed Sisodia.
Besides Sisodia, Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra, PWD Minister Satyendra Jain and Assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel also participated in the cleanliness drive in their respective constituencies.
To gain maximum mileage out of the situation, Congress workers also took to the streets to clean up the stinking garbage in 14 of its organisational districts in Delhi. They accused both the AAP and BJP of “fooling” the people. They also asked the AAP government to show a “large heart” by releasing funds which would facilitate the resolution of the crisis.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lauded PWD men for working “whole night” to remove the garbage. He also hoped that a solution would emerge after the High Court hears the matter next week.
“I support demand of protesting MCD employees that they shoud get their full salaries. I hope some solution will emerge after Tue HC hearing,” the CM said on Twitter.
On Saturday, the PWD men swung into action after the state government formed a task force for each district.
Hospitals run by the civic bodies were also hit as 7,000 doctors and 12,000 nurses joined the strike on Saturday over non-payment of dues. About 12,000 engineering staff of the civic bodies have also been on a strike since yesterday.
(With inputs from PTI)