23 March 2020
Bhubaneswar:The Odisha government today promulgated Odisha Essential Services (Maintenance) Act prohibiting strikes by sanitation workers and workers connected with supply and distribution of drinking water in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) across the State.
"Now therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) od section 3 of the Odisha Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1988 (Odisha Act of 1992), the Government of Odisha hereby prohibit strikes by any agency or group of persons dealing with sanitation work in ULBs of the State and by casual workers connected with supply and distribution of drinking water in the ULBs. This will be applicable to all the ULBs in the State, PHEO, OWSSB and WATCO," said an order issued by the Special Section of the Home department.
The order will remain in force for a period of six months from the date of its issue, it added.
The Home department order says that it has come to the notice of the State governmentthat almost all ULBs are finding it hard to manage outsourced contracting agencies for dealing with sanitation work as frequently these agencies are giving call for strikes threatening to destabilize sanitation work of the ULBs causing serious health hazards.
It further says that frequently casual workers connected with supply and distribution of drinking water in ULBs are resorting to stopping the services on various demands for which the general public are put to suffering.
The order spells out that there is a global pandemic COVID-19 for which lot of precaution is to be taken for supply of drinking water and maintenance of sanitation in ULBs.
"And whereas the State government are satisfied that in the interest of he public, it is necessary to prohibit strikes in the aforesaid services which will be applicable to all ULBs of the State, PHEO, OWSSB & WATCO for smooth supply of drinking water and maintenance of sanitation in the ULBs," the order clarified.