Sanitation workers not to collect garbage today

KARACHI: Workers of the civic agencies have announced that they would not collect garbage from the city on Tuesday (today) in protest against the government’s plan to hand over solid waste collection to a Chinese company.

Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Monday, the local government anti-privatisation committee leaders — Zulfiqar Shah, Kaneez Fatima and others — said that garbage collection was the function of the civic agencies and they would not allow the government to hand this function over to a private company.

They said the government was giving a large amount to the Chinese company for garbage collection while the civic agency workers have offered to do the job at half the cost, yet their offer was not being accepted. They said that the people will also have to pay more as the Chinese company would sell its plastic bags in which the garbage would be collected.

They said that currently around 10,000 workers were doing the job of cleaning and sweeping and over 7,000 of these were over 50 years of age, having over 25 years of service, and if the government did not take back its plan to privatise garbage collection, then all of the workers would resign and the government would not have the resources to clear their dues.

They said that as a first step the workers would not collect garbage on Tuesday and if the government did not accept their demand, they would develop a strategy against the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board that was handing over garbage collection to the Chinese company.