NEW DELHI: There seems to be differences brewing within the Aam Aadmi Party government over the campaign to tackle air pollution launched by Delhi Assembly’s Environment Committee regarding dust pollution.
Recently, committee chairperson and AAP MLA Atishi has slammed the civic commissioners for not doing enough to increase mechanical sweeping of roads. She has said there should be a plan to ultimately keep Mechanised Road Sweeping (MRS) as the only option instead of manual sweeping done by sanitation workers.
But these suggestions seem to have not gone down well with some. Sanjay Gehlot, chairman of Delhi Commission for Safai Karamcharis, a statutory body under Delhi government, has said that any campaign against pollution should keep the interest of the sanitation workers in mind .
While, Atishi said that the continued manual sweeping of roads by MCDs is “wholly unacceptable” and a cause of “paramount concern”, Gehlot said “welfare and interest of sanitation workers should be paramount”.
“Mechanical machines cannot enter the narrow streets and lanes of Delhi for cleaning purposes, there only a Safai Karamchari can manage. Any campaign against pollution should keep the interest of the sanitation workers in mind as priority” Gehlot said.
Gehlot headed one of the biggest unions of sanitation workers in Delhi and joined the AAP just before 2019 assembly elections. “The problem of air pollution is not new, stubble burning is responsible for that, there is no guarantee that MRS machines will not cause dust?” added Gehlot.
There are more than 50,000 sanitation workers in Delhi and 59 Mechanical Road Sweeping machines in all the three MCDs.