New Delhi municipal workers' strike completes one week

New Delhi: As the strike by municipal corporation employees completed a week on Tuesday, thousands of agitators took out a protest march from the Civic Centre to Rajghat in New Delhi carrying begging bowls in their hands to draw attention to their demands.

The protest march by the municipal workers threw traffic out of gear on outer Ring Road, ITO and other main roads. Protests by sanitation workers in different parts of East Delhi and North Delhi also created chaos on the roads as garbage was dumped by scores of protestors even as sanitation, education and health services provided by the civic bodies continued to suffer.

The protestors including sanitation workers, doctors, engineers, nurses, para medical staff as well as other technical and ministerial staff of municipal corporations took out a protest march from Civic Centre to Rajghat carrying begging bowls in their hands.

"We urge both the Delhi government and Central government to find a solution to end the strike. Thousands of people are suffering due to our strike which has been forced on us due to lack of any permanent solution to the issue of payment of salaries and other dues in time," said Dr RR Gautam, president of Municipal Corporation Doctors Association.

"Except for emergency services all other services including OPD and admission of patients have been crippled due to strike by the doctors, nurses and para medical staff of North and East corporations," he said.

Around 8,000 senior and resident doctors, 10,000 nurses as well as para medical staff of 7 hospitals and hundreds of polyclinics and dispensaries under NDMC and EDMC went on strike from January 27, triggering untold problems for lakhs of residents in North and East Delhi.

The strike by MCD school teachers has also affected schooling of lakhs of children in the two municipal corporations.

"All the 1100 schools are closed resulting in complete boycott of teaching and mid day meal related work by thousands of teachers. We are also talking to our colleagues in South Delhi Municipal Corporation to join the strike," said Ram Niwas Solanki, general secretary of Nagar Nigam Shikshak Sangh.

Around seven lakh students, including 4.5 lakh in NDMC and 2.5 lakh in EDMC, are deprived of education, due to strike by around 12,000 teachers.

"The amount collected by us through begging will be divided between Arvind Kejriwal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they do not have funds for payment of salaries, arrears, pensions and other dues of municipal corporation employees," said Rajendra Mishra, President of United Front of MCD Employees.

"We have urged all the stakeholders including the Delhi government, municipal corporation authorities, Lt Governor and Central government to arrive at a solution instead of indulging in politics over the issue. The strike will only intensify in the coming days if they fail to meet our demands," he threatened.

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