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SUKKUR, Aug 7: The protest of municipal employees took a new turn on Tuesday when, they in a fit of frenzy, shut down the drainage pumping machines resulting in streets overflowing with knee-deep filthy water. Pumping machines of Miani Drainage Station on Bunder Road remained forcibly closed for five hours.

The tactics was adopted to pressurise Sukkur Municipal Corporation (SMC) to clear salary dues of its employees of last three months.

President, Mazdoor Union (CBA) Ali Mardan Shaikh and General Secretary Moti Lal along with 200 employees staged a sit-in at the drainage pumping station and kept the machines still from 11am to 3pm. Streets in many residential and commercial areas like Nishter Road, Cloth Market, Pan Mandi, Dhak Road, Miani Road, Anaj Bazaar and Clock Tower were strewn with putrid water making it difficult for shoppers from the city and adjacent towns to pass through it.

Officials of the North Urban Services Corporation, including its General Manager Muneeb Domki tried to persuade protesters in calling off their agitation but couldn’t then came Mukhtiarkar of the city who also faced the same stiffness.

Finally Additional Deputy Commissioner-II Rifaqat Ali convinced the union leaders in holding talks in the office of Deputy Commissioner Manzoor Shaikh for an hour.

The DC informed the union leaders that the provincial government had allotted Rs30 million for payment of outstanding salaries and pensions with the efforts of Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Senator Islamuddin Shaikh and MNA Noman Islam Shaikh.

He sought their cooperation for another 24 hours to complete the formalities and in the meantime requested them to start drainage pumping machines.

Ali Mardan Shaikh told Dawn that they had postponed their protest for only three days and would resort to stronger agitation if salaries were not paid by Friday.