The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI/STATE - SURESH GOLANI

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.