After two-day strike: Sanitation staff return to work in Abbottabad

Published: March 2, 2017

ABBOTTABAD: Two days after they went on strike, the sanitation staff of the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) in Abbottabad resumed their routine duties on Wednesday.

Sanitation staff had gone on strike on Monday against the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government’s decision of setting up a Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) in the city. They had vowed to continue their strike till their demands are accepted.

The sanitation workers were also joined by their colleagues in Havelian Tehsil, while workers in Haripur and Mansehra had observed a token strike on Monday in solidarity with colleagues in Abbottabad.

The strike came to an end late on Tuesday evening after the sanitation staff held talks with Tehsil Nazim Ishaq Sulemani and presented him with a charter of their demands.Sulemani assured the workers that he would take the matter up with higher authorities and discuss it in the Tehsil Council.

The Tehsil Nazim, however, accepted one demand of the sanitation workers, of not handing over services of the over 350 sanitation and water supply staff to Wasa unless it becomes fully functional in Abbottabad.

“I have accepted their demand of not handing over their services to Wasa until it becomes fully functional in 10 union councils,” Sulemani told The Express Tribune.

He added that despite the fact that Wasa had been set up in Abbottabad, along with executive staff, around a year ago, the agency had yet to start working.

Moreover, Sulemani said that Wasa would initially operate in only six union councils of Abbottabad before the remaining union councils would be handed over to it with TMA’s sanitation and water supply staff.

To a question, the Tehsil Nazim said that he was not aware about any timeline fixed for Wasa to start working. Meanwhile, sanitation workers union office bearers Khalid Miskeen and Imran confirmed that they had called off their strike after their demands of not being transferred to Wasa were accepted.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2017.

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