The municipal council meeting dragged on Monday with the nominal muster roll (NMR) sanitation workers agitating on the premises demanding regularisation of their services.
Long after a majority of the corporators had left the meeting venue, the key officials of BMC were forced confined to the conference hall with the NMR sanitation workers raising a ruckus right outside.
The sanitation workers have been demanding a raise for quite sometime. “How do we sustain our family with a monthly remuneration of Rs 2,700,” said a agitating worker, Prabhakar Nayak.
The workers have threatened to intensify the stir if their demands are not conceded.
The workers dispersed after Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena assured them that steps were being taken to solve their problems. “This is a State-wide problem and it is for the Finance Department to increase the pay of the NMR sanitation workers,” said Jena.
There are approximately 2,600 sanitation workers across the State, said Municipal Commissioner Sanjib Mishra. “The files of around 2,100 workers have reportedly been processed,” he added.
Meanwhile, the council meeting decided that complaints related to electricity would be taken up twice a month. “In the absence of sufficient manpower, the BMC has failed to address the numerous complaints that keep pouring in,” said corporator Padmanav Das.
The proposal to expand the boundaries of Bhubaneswar by including 21 nearby gram panchayats was formally put on hold following resistance from the villagers.
To a question on Keshari Mall, which had been lying unused, Jena said the BMC has got possession of the mall and an open tender will be floated soon.
The council also decided against constructing the proposed Lingaraj Market complex. The site instead could be used as a parking space, said the commissioner.