Privatisation of Sanitation System: Workers threaten to start province-wide protests

Sanitary workers staged a protest demonstration against the privatisation of the Sanitation Department. According to sources, sanitary workers gathered in front of Rawalpindi Press Club and chanted slogans against the Punjab government. Municipal Workers League President Haji Farooq Khan, General Secretary Younas Ghori, Chairman Changaiz Akhtar Bhatti, Senior Vice Chairman Malik Shafiq and Deputy General Secretary Arif Mito Masih led the protest. The leaders said that the government was going to pay a Turkish company billions of rupees for work they could do for millions. They added that privatisation of the sanitation system was a conspiracy to snatch the sole source of income from poor workers and they would never accept the decision. The contract for Rawalpindi’s sanitation is going to be awarded to a Turkish company on the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. The Turkish company would be paid $22 for picking up a tonne of garbage while the current rate for a tonne of garbage is $5. According to sources, a cleanliness tax would subsequently be imposed on industrialists, shopkeepers and citizens. Sanitation workers’ unions requested the chief minister to cancel the privatisation orders and threatened to launch a protest movement in the entire province with the collaboration of other union members in all districts of Punjab.
Private firm to be hired for
cleaning Rawalpindi: Punjab government has decided to grant the contract for cleaning Rawalpindi to a private company. Sources said that the decision was taken on the special directives of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.  A sanitation tax would also be imposed on citizens, traders, shopkeepers and industrialists, sources added. On the other hand, the Municipal Labour Union has staged protests against the issuance of the contract, as a result of which 1,553 sanitary workers would lose their jobs.

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