Amid an alarming surge in dengue cases in Delhi, city municipal workers, who play a crucial role in combating vector-borne diseases, commenced an indefinite strike on Monday.
The strike is being organised by the Anti-Malaria Ekta Karmachari Union, representing the DBC (dengue breeding checking) workers. They had issued a prior notice to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), warning of the strike if their longstanding demands were not addressed before July 31.
Authorities at the MCD have been urging the striking workers to reconsider their decision, especially given the recent spike in dengue cases over the past few weeks. The strike comes at a critical time, as the MCD House is scheduled to convene for a meeting.
Devanand Sharma, the president of the Union, revealed that discussions with an additional commissioner of the MCD were underway at the Civic Centre. However, since their demands remain unmet, the strike proceeded as planned. Despite the growing concern over the increasing dengue cases, the workers are standing firm in their protest.
The strike poses a potential threat to the city of Delhi, given the early monsoon rains and recent flooding in certain areas due to rising water levels of the Yamuna River. These conditions create a conducive environment for the spread of dengue and other vector-borne diseases.
Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi has assured the striking workers that their demands will be carefully considered. The Union represents approximately 3,000 DBC workers and 2,000 field workers, and their absence from the fight against dengue could exacerbate the situation.
According to a municipal report issued on Monday, Delhi has reported 56 fresh cases of dengue in the past week alone. By July 28, the total number of dengue cases had reached 243, a significant increase from the 187 cases recorded till July 22. Additionally, the report stated that 72 cases of malaria had been recorded between January 1 and July 28.
Outside gate no. 5 of the Civic Centre, a large number of DBC workers gathered with placards to raise their voices in protest. The situation remains tense as both the workers and the authorities continue to grapple with the escalating dengue crisis in the city. (With inputs from PTI)