Haflong: A total of 35 sanitation workers of Haflong Municipal Board (HMB) have ceased their work since last Thursday, demanding their 10 months long overdue arrears. It is feared that sanitation services may collapse in the town if the strikes continues.
Following the cease work street-side dumps were seen overflowing with garbage and waste littered around the town. However the HMB have cleared in some parts of the town by engaging daily wage labours.
Speaking to reporters, one of the staff said that during the lockdown they have face the worst time as shopkeepers no longer give them goods on credit due to high balance and non-payment of our salary, so they have to take money from local money lender on high interest.
“Our salary issue is of not now but is going from past several years. If only a few months salary will be cleared now, we can only pay for our debt so what will we eat and we also have to pay school fees of our children besides other necessary needs.” the staff added.
A female worker said, “These days when price of commodities are hiking day by day we are not cleared our salary since long so we have to collect scraps and sell them to meet our end. Our children also demands to eat seasonal fruits like ripe mangoes but we can only console them by saying our salaries will be cleared soon and bring lots of fruits.”
“Our job may be considered as one of the dirtiest job but be it rainy, sun-scorch or any inclement weather we are relentlessly doing our duty without any failure. But our superiors never ask how we are facing life without salary during these Covid pandemic. We have our family too, our only demand is to clears our pending salary soon and solution for regular salary in future.” the staffs added.
Meanwhile, HMB head assistant said that the salary of those employees could not be cleared due to non availability of fund and no sufficient collection of taxes due to the pandemic. He also said that the officials are trying their best to collect the pending taxes from the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council and hope for clearance of salary if collected. He added that the present taxes collected are spent in office maintenance and other sanitization work like vehicles expense etc.