• Thursday, Jan 27, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Mayor vs UNO: City corporation cleaners return to work after 3 days in Barisal

  • Published at 10:36 am August 22nd, 2021
A rickshaw goes by a pile of garbage left unattended in Barisal city UNB

City dwellers suffer the aftermath of the clash between the two parties

The cleaners employed by the Barisal City Corporation returned to work on Saturday evening after three days.

The development came after the city Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah made an earnest call to them to return to their posts on Saturday in a press conference.

He also urged the local administration not to harass the officials and employees of the city corporation, during the press conference.

Jewel, a cleaner who came to clean up the garbage in the Bibir Pukur Paar area of the city said: "We have returned after three days listening to the plea of our city mayor. All the garbage will be cleaned."

Another cleaner, identifying himself as Biplob said: "We are in the midst of the terror of arrests. Still, we have returned to work responding to our mayor and considering the misery of the city dwellers."

Garbage piled up on the streets with no cleaners around as an uneasy calm prevailed in the city on Friday, three days after clashes broke out - between supporters of the mayor and law enforcement agencies - leaving dozens of people injured.

Also Read - Barisal clash: Court rejects bail plea of 22 accused

On Friday, the weekend morning walkers were greeted with heaps of rotting and stinking garbage on streets across the city. Two large piles of trash were found even on the Dhaka-Barisal highway, disrupting traffic.

Two women walk past a pile of garbage as a cow scours the trash for scraps on a street of Barisal city | UNB

The city dwellers have been facing this situation for the past three days as the city corporation’s cleaners went on an unannounced strike from work.

It is being seen as a fall-out of the violence on Wednesday night when dozens of activists from the ruling party and Chhatra League stormed into the residence of Sadar upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) in a dispute over the removal of some banners from his office premises.

Tension mounted after the UNO and police filed two cases against 94 people in which Barisal city Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah was named as the prime accused of the violence.

City residents suffer

Fazle Swapan, a resident who lives near Barisal Central Bus Terminal in the Nathullabad area, on Saturday said that garbage remained in the streets for the last two days. Normally, the garbage would have been cleared every night, but the city corporation's cleaners have stopped working since the clashes broke out.

The transport workers, including supporters of the mayor, activists of Chhatra League and Jubo League, blocked the Dhaka-Barisal highway with buses in Rupatoli and Nathullabad Bus Terminal areas during the wee hours of Wednesday.

The garbage piles have not been cleaned from the streets since that night.

CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver, Rubel, said that from Kashipur to Amtala junction, he saw garbage dumped in the middle of the road and in front of the UNO office. “We are having troubles driving,” he added.

Mahfuz, a resident of BM College Road area, said that the garbage has remained piled up in the area for two days. There is a constant stench in the air and the garbage piles also disrupt the movement of vehicles throughout the area.

Meanwhile, volunteers who usually help Covid-19 vaccine seekers, moved out of 24 vaccination centres in the Barisal City Corporation area on Thursday.  

The UNB correspondent’s phone calls and texts to Barisal City Corporation Chief Executive Officer Syed Farooq Hossain and Chief Cleaning Officer Dr Rabiul Islam went unanswered.

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