Angul: Door-to-door garbage collection and cleaning of colonies have severely been affected with some contractual sanitation workers launching an agitation against the Angul municipality.
This over two-week-long problem started after municipality authorities sacked three contractual workers, including the secretary of ‘Safai Karmachari Sangha’.
A source informed that 131 sanitation workers were engaged on a contractual basis for 23 wards in this town. This apart, the regular employees of the municipality were also involved in cleaning work.
A few days back, acting on complaints lodged by residents of this town, the municipality had sacked three employees of the contractual firm. Most of the allegations were against the secretary of the ‘Safai Karmachari Sangha’. Drivers and ‘Swachh Sathis’ had also alleged about the misbehaviour meted out to them by the secretary. There were allegations that he was earning a lot of money by selling ‘garbage’.
Initially, the administration had not taken any steps over the allegations fearing it might affect sanitation work. However, when the secretary and two others threatened other sanitation workers, the authorities lodged a police complain against the trio.
This irked some of the contractual workers who then staged a demonstration demanding withdrawal of the police complaint. The municipal authorities agreed to withdraw the complaint on the condition that the secretary will not be allowed to resume his duties. However, the contractual employees did not agree to it and are continuing their agitations.
In these circumstances with no other option left, the regular employees of the municipality and ‘Swachh Sathis’ are visiting door to door to collect garbage.
When contacted, supervisor of the contractual firm, Shantanu Swain said some new persons have been roped in to carry out the job. “The agitating workers have not come to us as yet. If they come, they will be reinstated,” he added.
Executive officer of Angul municipality, Girijja Shankar Mallick said the cleaning work is being carried out in a proper manner. He asserted that non-cooperation would not be tolerated.
Angul District Collector Siddharth Shankar Swain said the contractual firm had been awarded the sanitation work through tender. It is the responsibility of the firm to keep the city clean. The administration is providing all kinds of support. If it fails to perform the job as expected, necessary action would be taken against it.