Municipal services

City departments will be hit as MCG staff announce indefinite protest in support of suspended engineer

City municipal departments are likely to be affected as officials and contract workers at the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) are expected to go on indefinite strike from Friday, demanding the reinstatement of an engineer superintendent (SE) suspended.

MCG officials and contractors on Thursday refused to do their office work and staged a protest at the MCG Sector 34 office.

“Because of the strike, municipal services will take a hit and the population will be inconvenienced. However, this is inevitable because we want the MCG and ULB [Urban Local Bodies] to return to the SE, ”said TL Sharma, MCG chief engineer.

Services such as roads and internal drains, garbage collection and street lighting, among others, are likely to be affected.

On Monday, the SE, Ramesh Sharma, and the mayor, Madhu Azad, clashed in a review meeting regarding the cleanup of a blocked drain in Ward 22. While Azad alleged dereliction of duty and Sharma’s bad behavior, he alleged that the mayor had taken action because he refused to perform favors.

On Wednesday, Azad and a group of advisers met ULB Minister Anil Vij during his visit to the city and demanded action against the SE. On Vij’s order, the ULB suspends Sharma.

However, the ULB ordinance aroused strong opposition from MCG employees. The engineering wing of the MCG first observed a “pen-down” protest Thursday, but received support from other wings, most of the civic body’s senior officials and workers from other branches joined them, as well as the sanitation workers and their union.

Although officials and workers were present at the MCG offices, official work was not carried out as they gathered in a garden at the premises of the MCG Sector 34 office.

A senior MCG official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Additional Commissioner Rohtash Bishnoi, on behalf of MCG Commissioner Mukesh Kumar Ahuja, had asked a group of officials and a workers’ union to visit the commissioner in his camp office at Civil Lines to discuss the matter, but they refused.

“The union and officials wanted the MCG commissioner to come to the area 34 office to discuss the matter. However, the commissioner did not visit the MCG office, ”the official said.

Ahuja said: “I met both the SE and the Chief Engineer today (Thursday), asking them to withdraw the strike. They said they would consult with other workers and their union and get back to me. I am still awaiting their response on this matter.

Ahuja said he asked senior MCG officials to pacify the protesting staff by explaining that the SE could record its version of events with higher authorities and that the matter would be investigated.

“We must obey and respect those responsible because they are representatives of the public. In addition, I have asked all MCG staff to carry out their duties as usual and ensure that no public service is affected, ”Ahuja said.

Sharma, however, refused to meet with Commissioner MCG. “Only the chief engineer met the MCG marshal today (Thursday). My colleagues know my working style, which is transparent and completely honest. In my support, they will organize an indefinite protest, ”said Sharma.

Azad said: “I have already given my representation to the ULB and they have accordingly taken action against the SE. While I accept the protest from the workers and officials of MCG, whatever their or my position on the issue, I only ask them not to do so at the expense of the public. This is an internal matter and public services should not be affected.

Thursday’s protest was the first MCG official protest since its inception in 2008.

“The suspension of the SE was incorrect because it did nothing wrong. He has always worked in a transparent and fair manner. We want him to be reinstated and from tomorrow (Friday) we will launch an indefinite strike until it is over, ”TL Sharma said.

On Thursday evening, the MCG commissioner ordered all MCG branch managers to maintain decorum and respect all officials.

In a related question, Ahuja stated in the ordinance that only “members of the meetings” (officers and advisers of the MCG) may attend meetings on administrative matters and activities of the MCG, in accordance with the 1994 Corporation Act. municipal council of Haryana. This was in reference to the presence of parents of counselors, which is a common practice.

“There is no reason or right for relatives of advisers to be present at CWM meetings. They unnecessarily create a row and argue. We support the MCG commissioner’s order on this and hope that it will pave the way for the civic body to function more effectively, ”TL Sharma said.