On the first day of the trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) in 2012, the then commissioner of East Delhi Municipal Corporation along with his team of officials, took a tour of the DSIIDC building inspecting rooms after rooms to be allocated to the political leadership — and one even for himself.
While the south and the north MCDs started operating from the iconic civic centre — the newly constructed MCD headquarters — the east corporation started operations from a temporary office in the DSIIDC building in Patparganj industrial area.
Cut to 2017, and the civic body seems not to have moved an inch from where it began. It continues to work from the same building and struggles to pay salary to its employees.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, EDMC commissioner Mohanjeet Singh said, implementation of the fourth state finance commission recommendations was the sole measure that would help the EDMC bail itself out of the perennial crisis.
“Post trifurcation we are only running in losses despite our best effort to increase our revenue. We have increased our earning from property tax, advertising, fines and conversion almost 100% in last four years. But the amount collected is not enough to even pay the employees’ salary of Rs 120 crore per month and pension of Rs 14 crore,” said Singh.
According to EDMC councillors, the Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government took the decision to trifurcate the MCD in 2012 with an aim to strengthen governance in the national capital.
“But it failed to solve the purpose even after four years. In fact the trifurcation resulted in additional expenditures by creating three sets of all departments, committees, thereby spiking the establishment cost three-fold. That’s the reason we were opposing the decision right from beginning,” said Satya Sharma, mayor EDMC.
According to her, EDMC was supposed to get financial assistance through ‘special packages’ from Delhi government considering the fact that we have limited sources of income. According to Sharma, 90% unauthorised colonies fall under EDMC jurisdiction.
“Merely 25% population in our areas is paying property tax, which is the major source of our income. The indifferent attitude of the Delhi government has only added to our woes,” said Jitender Chaudhary, standing committee chairman EDMC.
The Delhi government has released Rs 119 crore to EDMC but the latter still wants Rs 431 crore to pay the salaries of 30,000 employees till March. It also needs Rs 582 crore for paying the arrears of employees from Grade A-D. “We used the money Rs119 cr to pay two months salaries to sanitation workers and a half of them immediately came back to work. We had already cleared 1,400 metric tonnes of garbage from roads,” said the commissioner.
But for other employees, EDMC has no salary to pay. “Our yearly expenses for 2016-17 are estimated to be R 3,519 crore but our earnings are R 1,478 crore. We have no source of income to deal with expenses,” said EDMC official. The EDMC deficit in 2016-17 is R 2,041 crore and in 2017-18 it is estimated to be Rs 2,243 crore.