Taskforce to clean garbage strewn by protesting civic workers

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) The Delhi government on Saturday said it has formed a taskforce as part of special arrangements for picking up garbage that has been piling up across the capital because of a strike by sanitation employees of three civic bodies.

“The PWD (public works department) has deployed 93 vehicles to clean garbage dumps. We have informed Delhi Police as to which areas these vehicles will be operating in,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.

He said the Delhi High Court had directed police to provide security, and extra labourers have been deployed with the trucks.

“The municipal corporations of Delhi have failed in their duties, but the Delhi government is cleaning up the capital,” Sisodia said.

“Hopefully by tomorrow (Sunday), the situation will be under control,” he said at a press conference at his residence.

Sisodia reiterated the charge made earlier by his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government that there was a massive “salary scam” going in the three municipal bodies that were created after the trifurcation of the erstwhile MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi).

The mammoth civic body was divided into three agencies — North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

“We have already given them (the three municipal corporations) their money under non-plan expenditure. Despite this, ‘politics of garbage’ is being practised and a massive salary scam in the municipal corporations has taken place,” Sisodia alleged.

PWD Minister Satyendra Jain said the teams have been instructed to continue to work till garbage is cleared from all areas.

“We have instructed all the PWD teams to continue with the work till garbage is cleared from all the areas, particularly from those where it had been deliberately thrown,” Jain told the media.

On Friday night, Jain set up the taskforce to clean the garbage dumped by the protesting civic bodies.

The minister said residents of the capital cannot be allowed to suffer due to a political conspiracy hatched by the BJP to keep the city dirty.

“DDA, which comes under the administration of Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, owes Rs.1,600 crore to the three municipal corporations. The BJP leaders (mayors) can go with folded hands to union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and the LG and request them to pay this amount,” Jain said.

“I request them not to throw garbage as that is not the right way to protest,” he added.

On Thursday, the striking municipal workers dumped garbage and shouted slogans outside Sisodia’s office as a way to protest against non-payment of their salaries.

Over 1.5 lakh employees of the municipal bodies went on a strike on Wednesday over non-payment of their salaries.

Taking note of the situation, the high court has sought the response of the Delhi government, the three municipal bodies, and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) by February 2.

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