Mysuru: As the conciliatory talks with Mysuru District Minister G.T. Devegowda and Tourism Minister S.R. Mahesh failed to break the ice yesterday, Pourakarmikas continued their indefinite agitation for the fourth day this morning in front of Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) office.
Pourakarmikas are staging protest urging the State Government to fulfil various demands including regularisation of services, abolition of contract system and free breakfast.
Meanwhile, the city continues to stink as mounds of garbage are accumulating on almost all the streets.
The worst affected are the areas in Central Business District such as D. Devaraja Urs Road, Sayyaji Rao Road, K.R. Circle, Chamaraja Circle, Shivarampet Road and Dhanvanthri Road.
Residential areas also bore the brunt of the strike with no garbage collectors going door- to-door to collect waste. Due to this, residents were seen carrying muck-filled plastic bags and dumping them in the already-stinking garbage bins.
Yesterday’s move of striking Pourakarmikas to pour garbage on the roads and in front of shops and business establishments drew sharp criticism. Several businessmen called SOM office this morning and said that the move to dump waste on road was uncalled for.
“Pourakarmikas have every right to protest but they cannot dump waste on the road. As it is there is dull business in our area and now we are suffering huge losses as the garbage is spread all over,” said Ramachandra, a trader from D. Devaraja Urs Road.
Several other traders too complained that the striking Pourakarmikas had intentionally targeted some buildings and poured garbage in front of the shops. “We are fed up and the government must consider some of their demands and on their part, Pourakarmikas must protest in a responsible way,” said Madanlal, who owns a shop near Mannar’s Market.
Addressing protesters this morning, MCC Pourakarmika Association President N. Mara said the Association will not withdraw their strike until the intervention of State Urban Development Minister U.T. Khader and Chief Minister H.D Kumaraswamy.
He wanted the government to fulfil their demands on humanitarian grounds. “We pick up garbage with bare hands, segregate wet and dry waste. This is risky and the government is doing nothing to prevent our health problems and most of us are suffering from skin diseases, diabetes, short/ long sight, high blood pressure, heart ailments and other health issues,” he said.
Efforts to break deadlock
Meanwhile, the District Administration is holding a meeting with Pourakarmika leaders at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office this evening at 4.30. District Minister G.T. Devegowda, Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar and others are attending the meeting to break the logjam.