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A2Z stops cleaning work over security

Dhanbad is back in the thick of muck and stink with A2Z, whose sanitation workers just ended an 11-day strike over pay dispute on November 22, again halting work at three wards, making the councillors see red.

The trigger for the latest ceasework, which started from Sunday, is protests by villagers of Kusunda, who are opposed to the cleaning agency dumping the collected garbage in their area. As such, A2Z, which took up the job of waste management in Dhanbad’s ward Nos. 20, 24 and 30 about two months ago, has suspended collection and dumping of garbage, demanding security for its staff.

However, the councillors, who had earlier cried foul over the frequent strikes by sanitation workers of A2Z, have started questioning the wisdom of roping in a cleaning agency when Dhanbad Municipal Corporation can take up the responsibility itself.

“The corporation appointed around 250 sweepers on contractual basis and each of the 55 wards was provided five sanitation workers about five months ago. Then, why can’t we appoint more contractual workers and take the entire responsibility of cleaning the town on our own without depending on any private agency?” asked councillor of ward No. 20 Imtiaz Khan.

Assistant manager of A2Z Abhishek Vaidya, however, claimed that security concern was the main reason. “We wrote to the corporation a number of times, demanding that they should provide security to our staff at Kusunda as local villagers are not allowing them to dump garbage there. Many of our staff were thrashed too,” Vaidya said.

ADM (law and order) B.P.L. Das, also CEO in-charge of Dhanbad Municipal Corporation, said A2Z could not stop work randomly.

“I am available in my office throughout the day. They should have informed me if they are facing any problem. We will seek details after summoning the officials of A2Z and take appropriate action if necessary,” Das warned.

Deputy mayor Niraj Singh agreed that the performance of A2Z was not satisfactory.