BENGALURU: A protest by over 5,000 pourakarmikas in the city on Monday led to no garbage collection at several areas, with the situation expected to worsen on Tuesday.The protest was termed a state-wide one and was held at Banappa Park in the city. Balan S, president of BBMP Contract Pourakarmikas Association said their demand was for the government to implement the promise they had made in 2016, as per which all contract pourakarmikas were to be regularised by March 2017. He added, “Until the government implements the decision, we are asking them to pay salaries directly to the workers, which is the model followed in Haryana.”
Vinay Srinivas, an activist with the NGO Alternative Law Forum, said none of the workers who attended the strike worked on Monday morning. This was reflected in garbage dumps on the road seen at Kumaraswamy Layout, Kadirenahalli, Yarab Nagar and Ilyas Nagar. Residents of Vijayanagar also confirmed that garbage hadn’t been picked up.
Gangamma, a pourakarmika who attended the protest, said no worker from her ward- Banaswadi, had worked on Monday, and won’t resume work until the demands were met. She added that similarly, no worker had worked in Hebbal either. “More workers are expected to attend the protest on Tuesday. We have been forced to do this, otherwise how do we teach our kids? We don’t want them to do what we do.”
There was no response from any government official to the strike until late evening, prompting Srinivas to say, “The entire government is busy with the arrival of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.”
The idea behind the Haryana model is that it would reduce corruption, and Balan said the issue has been brought to the government’s notice several times by various pourakarmika unions. “The government is neither implementing its own decision, nor bringing in the Haryana model,” he added.
Regularisation of contract workers, which was promised in 2016.
Direct payment of salaries to workers, instead of giving it to contractors.
Demand to implement payment system akin to Haryana model.
This is aimed at reducing corruption.