Trash piles up in Chandigarh as garbage collectors’ strike enters Day 3

With no headway in talks between the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) and door-to-door garbage collectors, heaps of trash were seen at Sehaj Safai Kendras across the city on Sunday, which marked the third day of sanitation workers’ strike.

Most of the city’s sectors and rural areas have been affected as the protesting garbage collectors enforced the withdrawal of services with more severity.

Even as residents dumped their household garbage in safai kendras, sanitation workers, who are agitating under the banner of Safai Karamchari Union, didn’t clean those up. In some areas, there were complaints about people discarded trash in parks, parking and back lanes.

“The problem is getting acute in some areas, while at many places, people are cooperating with each other. But, the state of safai kendras is getting worse with each passing day as nobody is clearing it of garbage,” said Col (retd) Gursewak Singh, adviser, Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC).

On Saturday, the meeting between MC officials led by municipal commissioner KK Yadav and garbage collectors’ unions had ended in a deadlock. The protesting sanitation workers and garbage collectors have threatened to step up their protest from Monday against the MC for not accepting their demands.

Om Prakash Saini, president of Chandigarh Door-to-Door Garbage Collectors’ Society, said, “The MC is working against the interests of the garbage collectors and sanitation workers. Not long ago had they called us corona warriors for our dedicated work during the peak of pandemic. But now, they are ready to bring in our replacements at DC rates.”

Fresh round of talks between civic body officials and MC sanitation committee headed by former mayor Rajesh Kalia are also expected on Monday.

“It is an indefinite strike which will continue till the MC accepts our demands. If municipal officials ask us to meet them on Monday, we will surely oblige,” Saini said.

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