The Pourakarmika strike rages in the city
- Garbage is piled up on the sides of the roads
- CM holding a conciliation meeting
Mysore/Mysore: If you are wondering why most parts of Mysuru town stink with mounds of garbage on the streets and trash cans, the simple reason is that the Pourakarmikas are on indefinite strike.
Trash piled up as the statewide indefinite strike by contract sanitation workers, who are demanding among other things the regularization of their services, entered day four today.
Although Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) has pressed some of its Pourakarmikas and regular vehicles to collect solid waste in the past two days, the number is too less compared to the amount of waste generated in the city. There are more than 2,600 Pourakarmikas in the MCC and among them, only 530 are on the MCC lists.
The city generates more than 280 tons of waste per day. Piles of garbage inside and outside of Devaraja Market, KR Circle, Vani Vilas Market, Boti Bazaar and other markets pose a health hazard as well as piled up garbage in residential areas.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Commission Chairman Safai Karamchari, Mr. Shivanna, expressed hope that the workers could end their strike on Monday, July 4, as another round of talks with the government are scheduled to take place. Bengaluru with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai at noon. The leaders of Pourakarmika N. Mara, Srinivas and Shivanna will be part of the meeting with the CM and the delegation is led by former mayor Narayan.
Although the CM had talks with the Pourakarmika union leaders earlier, the workers insist that the CM give its assurances in writing. If things don’t go well at the meeting, the protest is likely to continue beyond Monday.
No door-to-door garbage collection
Waste generated by hotels and restaurants is evacuated by permanent Pourakarmikas while wet waste generated by houses and apartments continues to accumulate. As there is no door-to-door garbage collection, locals indiscriminately dump garbage at the roadside.
The striking workers include contract workers, outsourced Pourakarmikas, direct pay workers, door-to-door garbage collectors, vehicle drivers and also UGD workers.
As part of the strike, the contract workers meet the permanent Pourakarmikas and convince them to join the strike. More than 150 bicycles were lined up by the contract workers to meet the permanent Pourakarmikas in the 65 districts of the MCC. Brochures are given to the permanent Pourakarmikas who request their support.
The Purakarmikas demand a single agenda that all categories of cleanliness workers, regardless of the type of work they do, are treated as Purakarmikas and their employment is regularized. They are demanding a retirement pension of Rs. 10 lakh and a pension of Rs. 5,000 for workers, as well as health care and employment for dependents. Other main demands include housing, free education for their children, equal pay for equal work and a dignified work environment.
Bulky items are picked up
“We have seen that some of the permanent Pourakarmikas have also joined the strike and we have asked them to return to work. Today we sent over 150 cars across town to pick up trash. The huge mounds of waste are picked up in bulk by earthmoving machines and backhoes (JCB). We will further make other arrangements to clear the piles of garbage,” said G. Lakshmikantha Reddy, Commissioner, Mysuru City Corporation.