ISLAMABAD-As Christmas is just around the corner, a poor sanitary worker in the federal capital can only dream of fulfilling the wishes of his children and family.

Sanitary workers of the federal capital, mostly Christians, are still protesting for the payment of their 6-month awaited salary.

Just like what the Muslims do before Eid, Christians are also eager to shop for their families and make arrangements well in time for the Christmas festivity.

Instead of shopping and making preparations for the holy day, the sanitary workers these days have been seen protesting outside Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) Office for payment of their pending salaries. Unfortunately, for now, CDA and MCI have failed to deliver. Instead, the authorities are seen pointing fingers at each other.

Talking exclusively with The Nation, Mayor Islamabad Anser Sheikh stated that the CDA was solely responsible for the issue regarding the salaries of sanitary workers. According to him, the Metropolitan Corporation was lacking funds owing to the delay in payments by the CDA and the federal government. And because of the delay in payments by the CDA, the salaries of sanitary workers are being held.

Sheikh further elaborated that they were never responsible for the payment of salaries to the sanitary workers as it was allocated by the CDA and not by them. “There is no funding. The federal government and CDA have stopped paying us. How can we give salaries to the workers if we have no money?” said Mayor Islamabad.

In addition, the mayor also stressed that the delay in payments was deliberately done by the CDA and the federal government to damage the reputation of MCI and hold them responsible for this emerging problem.

This delay in the payments of salaries to these sanitary workers also happened a few times before. The sanitary workers were seen protesting in the month April and May 2019 as well, for the regulation of their salaries. The salary is neither being regulated nor being paid.

The sanitary workers are thinking on the other hand as if they are duped by the authorities. They are seen running to different offices and knocking doors in hope to get their problem resolved and get their pending salaries back.

This correspondent asked a sanitary worker, Imran, about this emerging problem. The worker stressed about the worsening condition of their community due to pending salaries. He briefed that Christmas was after a few days and they had no money to fulfil the dreams of their children and celebrate the holy festival like every other Christian.

However, the Director Sanitary Sardar Zimri, talking with The Nation, revealed that the due payments to sanitary workers would be made in full through cheques or whatever suits the worker.