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Delhi: Municipal Mosquito Breeding Checkers Go on Indefinite Strike Over Non-Regularisation of Posts

Ronak Chhabra |
On Monday, led by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)-backed Anti-Malaria Ekta Karamchari Union (AMEKU), employees staged a demonstration outside the Civic Centre as part of their strike action.

The striking DBC workers staged protest outside Civic Centre on Monday. Courtesy - Special Arrangement

Hundreds of employees of Delhi’s three municipal corporations deployed to check bedding of mosquitoes went on an indefinite strike on Monday to demand immediate regularisation of their posts - something that was promised to the protesting union in writing in 2017 following a similar action.

There are as many as 3,500 DBCs or Domestic Breeding Checkers in the national capital employed on a contractual basis by the three municipal corporations - North, South, and East. On Monday, a section among them, led by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)-backed Anti-Malaria Ekta Karamchari Union (AMEKU), sat on an indefinite hunger strike while staging a demonstration outside Civic Centre as part of their strike action.

"We were assured in writing of a regular post following a work strike in 2017. Similar assurances were given to us last year as well by the mayors and senior municipal corporation officials," said Devanand Sharma, president of AMEKU, on Monday.

He added that despite such multiple assurances, the DBC workers remain bereft of the benefits of a regular employee, including an increased monthly salary and coverage under social security provisions.

“There are many of us who have been employed for the last 26 years. We deserve to be treated like permanent employees now,” Sharma rued.

NewsClick has earlier reported how the AMEKU submitted a memorandum to the corporation officials last year, enlisting their demands.

Notably, the latest strike of the DBC workers has come at a time when the national capital is getting ready for elections to 272 wards of its three municipal corporations. The polls are scheduled to be held in April this year.


As such, the issue of the regularisation of DBC workers has also now triggered a political battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The former currently rules all three corporations in Delhi.

Last week, AAP promised to regularise the appointment of dengue breeding checking (DBC) workers of all the three civic bodies if voted to power. Addressing a press conference then, AAP leader Somnath Bharthi hit out at BJP for “exploiting” the DBC workers for 15 years while providing the latter with nothing but “false assurances.”

Meanwhile, last week, South Delhi Mayor Mukesh Suryan said that the SDMC "will regularise" all its contractual employees if the Delhi government approves the creation and regularisation of posts and makes budgetary provisions.

The municipal corporations and the Delhi Government must "coordinate" with each other to immediately resolve the issue of DBC workers, said Anurag Saxena, general secretary, CITU-Delhi unit. Till then, the workers' strike action will continue, he added.

“Ahead of the municipal polls, we will see which parties agree to address our demands,” Saxena said.

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