Thousands of conservancy workers in Bengaluru on Tuesday called off their indefinite strike after an assurance from the government that it would look into their demands, including for regular employment to contract workers.
"We have called off the strike after Minister for Social Welfare H. Anjaneya assured to arrange a meeting with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on June 20 to finalise the modalities to regularise the services of contract conservancy workers," Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Contract Workers' Association Vice President Vinay Sreenivasa told reporters on Tuesday.
Around 6,000 contract conservancy workers of Bengaluru civic body went on an indefinite strike since Monday to press their demands.
"About 45,000 conservancy workers are engaged on contract basis in 240 urban local bodies across the state, and around 22,000 of them are on contract basis in Bengaluru," Sreenivasa said.
Besides regular employment, the conservancy workers are also demanding direct transfer of salary to their bank accounts instead of authorising garbage contractors to disburse the monthly pay.
"Most of the conservancy workers are getting only Rs 4,500 from the garbage contractors. They will get Rs 12,500 if the urban local bodies credit salary to their bank accounts," Sreenivasa said.
Social Welfare Minister Anjaneya, accompanied by Minister for Municipal Administration Eshwar B. Khandre, met the leaders of agitating workers at Bannappa Park in the city centre.
"The conservancy workers need not depend on garbage contractors for their salary. The government will make arrangements to credit salary to their bank accounts. A meeting will be held to discuss abolishing the contract system in urban local bodies, including Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike," Anjaneya said.
Tonnes of garbage has piled up at various locations after the conservancy workers went on strike on Monday. On an average, Bengaluru generates 4,000 tonnes of garbage daily.
Residents in areas such as Yelahanka, Byatarayanapura, Hebbal in Bengaluru north suburb; KR Market, Kalasipalya, Chamarajapet, Malleswaram and Palace Guttahalli in city centre; and Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Laggere, Peenya Dasarahalli in Bengaluru south have suffered the most due to the conservancy workers' strike.
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