Bengaluru likely to stink from Wednesday

Bengaluru is likely to stink again with over 18,000 contract sweepers (pourakarmikas) likely to go on an indefinite strike from Wednesday.

Published: 07th March 2017 01:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2017 07:12 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The city is likely to stink yet again with at least 18,000 contract pourakarmikas holding an indefinite strike from Wednesday. They will neither sweep the roads nor collect waste from houses. With this, the city’s garbage crisis is likely to snowball.

The pourakarmikas will not sweep
or collect garbage as a result
of the strike | S Manjunath

According to Vinay Sreenivasa of BBMP Contract Pourakarmika Union, contract pourakarmikas should have been receiving a monthly salary of Rs 14,400 with effect from August 2016. “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah himself gave cheques to a few pourakarmikas and announced the new wages at a public function. However, none of them have received any hike,” he said.

Previously, the pourakarmikas used to receive Rs 7,000 per month. Now, in places such as HAL and Gandhinagar, pourakarmikas are being paid Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 per month, he said.

Besides, the contractors are paying the salaries in cash, while according to the contract they are supposed to deposit the money in the bank accounts of the workers. “It is a scam. The elected representatives know the problem but they have done nothing other than providing assurances,” he said.

Vinay said that on Wednesday, thousands of pourakarmikas will stage a dharna at the BBMP head office. “They are not going to pick waste or sweep. We will not stop the dharna with just mere assurances. We want the payments to be made with arrears,’’ he added.

According to a senior BBMP official, BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad has directed the zonal commissioners to clear the arrears. A sum of Rs 70 crore has been released to all zonal offices and another Rs 30 crore will be released in a day or two.

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