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Posted at: May 17, 2018, 12:01 AM; last updated: May 22, 2018, 12:19 AM (IST)

No swachhta in Haryana

Indecisiveness hits 90 Haryana corporations
No swachhta in Haryana

IT is ironical that the Government Ministers have lost the enthusiasm to get photographed while wielding a broom even though waste removal and sanitation has became a casualty in 90 municipal corporations of Haryana because of an ongoing strike by nearly 30,000 municipal workers and employees. CM Manohar Lal Khattar, photographed a fortnight back cleaning a village in Karnal, considered it more prudent to extend his trip to the UK by a day after he was enthused by the  “investment opportunities” in Leeds. As a result employee leaders and bureaucrats have been engaged in ineffectual discussions while citizens' misery has kept on prolonging. For a decisive government that puts cleanliness in pole position, the first option should have been the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).

But the catch is like all governments, the Khattar government is also election-oriented and the Central and state elections are just over a year away. It cannot be seen as overly vindictive towards the employees, especially when Sarv Karamchari Sangh, the apex organisation of government employees, has come out in support of the striking employees. An even bigger rub is that two major employee demands, that no government can afford to fulfill, were part of the BJP manifesto for the 2014 Assembly elections, especially the alluring but unmeetable promise to regularize the contractual staff. It is no surprise that employees are not buying the Government's explanation that it is hampered because of a court order. The BJP government in Haryana may well have become a victim of extravagant promises during the election time that cannot be consummated.

The Khattar government’s only consolation is the disarray in opposition ranks while it has lurched from one difficult situation to another. The most visible impact of effective governance needs to be in urban spaces where both the Modi government and other BJP dispensations in states have struggled to provide. The Haryana government needs to realise that the shelf life for partial acceptance of demands is in the early days of the stir. Procrastination has led to the current impasse and any further delay will prolong the agony of citizens. 


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