MBMC’S SWACHHTA TAKES HIT AS GARBAGE COLLECTORS GO ON STRIKE
Barely three days after the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) managed to resolve the issues of striking staffers attached to its public transport authority, garbage lifting contractors launched an indefinite strike on Saturday.
This at a time when the civic administration has intensified its efforts to improve the rating of the twin-city this year in the Swachhta Survey, being conducted by the central government authorities under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
The stop-work by the garbage lifting contractors is not only messing the, but is bound to pour cold water on the efforts by the civic administration to score brownie points in the Swachhta ranking race. Apart from mechanised sweeping machines, 108 compactors and 30 pack body dumpers remained grounded on Saturday. However, the timing of the strike during the ongoing Swaccchta initiative is being seen as an arm twisting tactics to compel the administration in succumbing to demands. The contractors have been opposing the civic apathy owing to irregular payments and non-clearance of various dues including 10 percent annual cost escalation and gratuity funds to contractual workers amounting Rs 5.5 crore and Rs 7 crore respectively.
Talks between a delegation of contractors and the civic administration which took place at the town planning office in Mira Road on Saturday afternoon failed, sources said. Repeated pleas and reminders in this context have fallen on the deaf years of the higher-ups in the civic administration. Spread across an area of 79.4 square kilometre, the twin-city which is a blend of urban, rural, coastal and industrial areas generated around 400 metric tonnes of waste and to lift and ferry it, the MBMC had awarded a five-year contract to Global Waste Management Company in 2012. However, the company has appointed local sub-contractors for the job. “Efforts were on to resolve the issue,” said deputy civic chief Dr Sambhaji Panpatte. “Although the five years tenure of the contract came to an end in April this years, the MBMC enforced a six-month extension, despite our reluctance owing to pending arrears,” revealed a contractor requesting anonymity.