MUNICIPAL COMMISSIONER (MC) Badal Chatterjee is facing a difficult situation following the orders of the Allahabad High Court.
The HC has imposed a ban on all development activities and payments, including salary to its employees, till the Kanpur Municipal Corporation (KMC) clears pension dues of its pensioners, to whom it owes an exorbitant amount of Rs 70 crore.
The financial crisis at the KMC can be gauged from the fact that the authority does not have enough funds to even challenge the order in the Supreme Court.
With a blanket ban on withdrawal of money from its exchequer, the KMC authorities might not be able to distribute salary for the month of September to its employees. The threat from petrol pump owners to stop the supply of Petrol and Diesel has further worsened the situation. KMC officials say that finding no way out the MC has approached Principal Secretary Amal Verma for financial assistance. He has also sought permission from the State Government to sell/lease out the land of its Chunniganj workshop, they add.
However, pensioners are overjoyed by the court’s decision. President of the pensioners’ association Jayant Shukla said, “The HC order has brought us much warranted relief. Now, the KMC cannot escape from its obligation.” We had been running from pillar to post asking for the payment of our outstanding dues for the past several years, but finally it’s the HC that has come to our rescue, added Shukla. KMC’s monthly expenditure includes Rs 5.74 crore for salaries to its employees, Rs 2.16 crore for pension and Rs 70 lakh for Petrol. Apart from this, it has spent around Rs one crore towards the expenses of various cases filed against it in the HC.