In order to fight contingencies in wake of the indefinite strike called by municipal workers from today, the civic body is giving Rs 1 lakh to each Head of Department and Assistant Municipal Commissioner

In an attempt to avoid any breakdown in the working of the municipal services following the strike called by 1.24 lakh municipal workers, the BMC, for the first time, is handing over Rs 1 lakh to each Head of Department and Assistant Municipal Commissioner, as emergency funds.

No Problem? As a precautionary step, the BMC may take the help of
private contractors to carry out the important services like water supply
and sewage control. FILE PIC

Following the strike called by the workers owing to the non-implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission, essential services such as water supply, fire brigade, sewerage, civic-run hospitals, conservancy, transport will be largely affected and as a precautionary step, the BMC has decided to take this step in case private contractors have to be hired to carry out the services.

A BMC official said, "The most important departments are the water supply and the sewerage operations. In case, there is a shortage of workers, the concerned officials will be able to hire additional staff and hence for that we have provided them with the money." Additionally, the assessment and collection department will have to hire additional staff to collect the octroi while the solid waste management department would have to seek assistance from NGO workers for garbage collection.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Rajiv Jalota said, "We are trying to avert every possible unwanted situation and necessary action is being taken for the same. Senior officials will have to step in and ensure the smooth running of services."

Meanwhile, Sharad Rao, president of the Municipal Mazdoor Union said, "We want the pay scale to be similar to central government workers. But the municipal commissioner has made it in comparison with that of the state government workers."

Rao added that the strike would not be called off and they would continue to agitate till their demands were met. He will also be meeting with the commissioner this afternoon again to discuss the issues.

The BMC, meanwhile, got an order from the Industrial Court deeming the strike illegal and informed both parties to finish discussions before September 23 and submit a report on September 26.