Vijayawada stinks as civic staff protest

VMC has recruited 46 drivers and 46 cleaners on contract basis for working on 35 vehicles on shift basis

Vijayawada: The dumpsters in the city are overflowing with garbage as the drivers and cleaners of the vehicles that shift garbage went on strike, in support of their colleagues who were arrested by the police for stealing fuel theft from vehicles.

Vijayawada Municipal Corporation has recruited 46 drivers and 46 cleaners on contract basis for working on 35 vehicles on shift basis. These vehicles work round the clock to shift over 550 tonnes of garbage generated everyday in the city.

The VMC issues tokens to the drivers for fueling at a pumping station depending on the mileage of the vehicle and the distance it covers. It is said to be a regular practise of the vehicle drivers and cleaners to steal fuel from vehicle tanks and sell it to other merchants. A few days ago, drivers and cleaners, Mr Rambabu, Mr Ruben, Mr Raghava Rao and Mr Jyotibasu were caught red-handed while selling the fuel to a merchant in Singh Nagar area.

Municipal commissioner G. Veerapandian took a serious note of the incident and lodged a compla-int with the Payakapuram police who arrested Rambabu and Ruben, apart from seizing the shop of the merchant, while other were said to be absconding. Demanding that their colleagues be released and cases be withdrawn, drivers and cleaners went on a strike on Wednesday.

The CMOH, M. Gopi Naik, held discussion with the drivers and cleaners who agreed to resume duties from Thursday. Learning about the demands, the commissioner ordered the employees to undertake that they would not go on strike without serving notices, before rejoining the duties. The employees didn't accept the proposal and continued the strike on Thursday.

Mr Gopi Naik said, “We have made alternative arrangements to shift garbage from the dumpsters. On Thursday, we successfully shifted about 300 tonnes and would shift the remaining 1,000 tonnes on Friday. We arranged 30 tractors, two trippers, three ten tyre vehicles and a dumper placer to shift the waste to dumping yard. We served a notice to the Drivers and Cleaners Association, the contract agency, for violating the rules of contract and failing to supply the drivers and cleaners.”

( Source : dc correspondent )
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