Hyderabad sits on garbage as municipal workers continue strike

Hyderabad, July 12 (IANS) Heaps of garbage were piled up on the roads in Greater Hyderabad as an indefinite strike by municipal sanitary workers entered the seventh day on Sunday.

The overflowing garbage bins in residential colonies and on the streets spread the stench in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, making life tough for residents and visitors.

With another round of talks between the Telangana government and striking employees on Saturday night failing to end the deadlock, there was no respite to citizens who fear health hazards.

Demanding higher wages and better facilities, municipal employees in the state are on strike but it is the state capital which has been hit hard by the protest.

Several rounds of talks have failed to convince the workers to call off the strike as both sides refused to budge.

The main thoroughfares in the old city and other parts of the state capital are littered with heaps of stinking garbage.

The continuing strike has not only dented the image of ‘swacch Hyderabad’ – which the state government has been trying hard to project – but is causing severe inconvenience to people.

With the shopping for Ramzan Eid at its peak, mounting garbage on roads has badly hit the festivities in old city, Nampally, Mallepally, Asif Nagar, Mehdipatnam, Toli Chowki and other Muslim-majority areas.

Mounds of garbage could be seen on roads around the historic Charminar, making it unbearable for people to walk. Plastic, paper and disposables were strewn on the busy roads.

Hyderabad on an average generates 4,000 tonnes of garbage daily. The garbage generation goes up steeply during Ramazan due to increased commercial activity.

With the strike continuing for over a week, thousands of tonnes of garbage lies uncleared across the city.

The State Minorities Commission has issued notices to the department of municipal administration and urban development and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corp (GHMC) to intervene or make alternate arrangements to clear the garbage.

As many as 28,000 employees of GHMC are on strike, demanding increase in wages and better facilities.

Though GHMC has hired 4,000 private labourers and also deployed 830 out of 1,050 sanitary vehicles, this has not helped to improve the conditions.

The sanitary employees, both contract and permanent, are demanding an increase in the minimum wages and facilities like health cards, provident fund and houses.

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