KARACHI: A large number of protesting workers of the city’s municipal administration created chaos for commuters for hours on Tuesday when they obstructed all four gates of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s head office by dumping all kinds of trash.
The KMC workers unloaded trucks of garbage in front of the gates at around 10am. They were protesting against non-payment of a 15 per cent increase in the salaries of 14,000 current employees and pensions of 22,000 retired employees as announced by the provincial government in July.
KMC workers’ union president Zulfiqar Ali Shah said that they had given a 48-hour deadline to the KMC administration to disburse the increased amount to them. “The administration would be responsible for the situation if our demands are not met before the deadline,” he warned.
Witnesses said that the protesting workers, who also chanted slogans against the KMC administration and Mayor Wasim Akhtar, did not let the KMC clear the garbage till 3pm, although several trucks reached the spot for garbage removal from M.A. Jinnah Road.
Sources said that the KMC had requested the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board for removal of the garbage from the four gates of the head office, but to no avail as the SSWMB refused to take any action apprehending damage to their vehicles by the protesters. Later, the garbage was removed by the KMC.
They said that the workers had also planned to litter the main roads and residence of government officials if their demands were not met.
The sources said that the workers had also planned to dump garbage in front of the Chief Minister House to press for their demands.
A KMC spokesman said that the municipal administration could not pay the raised amount to the workers due to shortage of funds.
Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2019