In Karachi, heaps of garbage, accumulated water on roads, irregular traffic and poor sewage and sanitary situation have added to the woes of residents and commuters. Image Credit: Online

Islamabad: Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi, is presenting an abysmal picture of neglect and poor governance as garbage collectors — the city’s sanitation staff — have gone on strike against the Karachi Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) decision to make indirect payment of their salaries, instead of directly transferring the amount to their accounts.

Due to the ongoing strike by the KMC employees not only in Karachi but across Sindh province since Monday, the provincial cities are facing a crisis-like situation and huge piles of garbage are seen everywhere on streets.

The local government workers, especially sanitation staff, have gone on a full-scale strike, which has led to a halt in garbage collection in Sindh.

‘Karachi, a picture of neglect’

In Karachi, particularly, heaps of garbage, accumulated water on roads, irregular traffic and poor sewage and sanitary situation has added to the woes of residents and commuters.

Sanitary workers are against payment through their contractors, who do not make full payment and take a commission.

Besides the sanitation staff, other employees of the local government department are also not satisfied due to the workload and little reward in return.

“The day our salaries are deposited in our accounts through online transfer we shall end our strike,” said a number of the boycotting sanitation workers.

‘Will not to pay directly’

The Sindh government, on the other hand, is of the view that since a majority of the workers were hired on contract basis, it was not possible to pay them online.

Services of a Chinese company are being acquired for the cleanup operation. However, the outsourced firm lacks proper equipment to complete the task.

Local government workers under the All Pakistan Local Government Workers Federation (ALGWF) across Sindh are protesting for online payment of their salaries through the treasury and are not ready to accept getting salaries through their contractors.

A delegation of the representatives of the ALGWF also held talks with Local Government Secretary Najam Shah without making headway.

More than 9,000 sanitary workers are on strike and they have locked up 1,300 garbage collection vehicles too.

According to the KMC report, Karachi generates around 14,000 tons of garbage daily but there is no proper mechanism to remove it.

Besides, there are not sufficient number of workers to collect it and much of the litter is left on roads.

The Chinese company had started garbage collection work from yesterday, which according to sources could only pick up 4,000 tons of garbage in a day.