Sanitation workers slammed for poor cleanliness in Delhi

A bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said the court was not obliged to come to the aid of municipal workers and press for payment of salaries when they were not discharging their functions on the ground.
Sanitation workers on duty.(HT File Photo)
Sanitation workers on duty.(HT File Photo)
Published on Oct 07, 2021 03:56 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Delhi high court on Wednesday came down heavily on municipal employees, especially safai karamcharis, for not discharging their duty of keeping the city clean and leaving it in a “dismal state of cleanliness”.

A bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh, while hearing a clutch of pleas on the non-payment of salaries and pensions to municipal employees, said the court was not obliged to come to the aid of municipal workers and press for payment of salaries when they were not discharging their functions on the ground.

“While on one hand, we are pressing for payment of salaries and pensions, it appears that the municipal employees, especially safai karamcharis, are not discharging their duty. As a result, in the city, there is an increase in cases of dengue; garbage and malba; and broken roads and pavements,” the bench said.

“They have to do some work. On the ground, there is nothing. Hundreds of crores (of rupees) is rolled out (as salaries and pensions). This is the dismal state of affairs. What is happening to the city? Where is the sense of responsibility of the petitioners and the municipal corporations? At the end of the day, it is the citizens who are suffering. The city is falling; it can’t go down any further,” the court said.

Referring to the cleanliness in Sainik Farms, the court said the area continues to be dirty and shabby.

“Not a single piece of plastic has been removed from there. It continues to be just as dirty and shabby... cows are eating all that plastic; they will die,” justice Sanghi said.

“We want to make the city world class and there is dirt everywhere,” justice Jasmeet Singh added.

Appearing for the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, standing counsel Divya Prakash Pande told the court that the employees go on strike at a drop of the hat and stage protests at the municipal body’s headquarters.

The court responded that it would “not exercise its discretionary jurisdiction” if the petitioner employees resort to “unjustified and frivolous strikes”.

“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t put a gun to our head.. They will have to take consequences. Enough is enough,” the court said.

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Monday, December 06, 2021