AAP govt approves advanced disbursal of Rs 199 cr, striking staff refuses to budge
The Delhi government has approved advance disbursal of Rs 119 crore to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation and urged the BJP-ruled civic agency to disburse the salary of its striking staff at the earliest.delhi Updated: Jan 09, 2017 13:01 IST
The Delhi government has approved advance disbursal of Rs 119 crore to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation and urged the BJP-ruled civic agency to disburse the salary of its striking staff at the earliest.
About 17,000 EDMC employees, including sanitations workers, are on strike since Friday over non-payment of salaries for three months.
Addressing reporters at his residence, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the funds disbursal was approved on Saturday and it will be transferred to the corporation’s account on Monday morning. Sisodia advised the corporation to strictly use it for payment of salaries to striking employees.
Sisodia said he has reviewed the state of affairs in the BJP-ruled east civic bodies and has found them to be centres of “financial mismanagement and functional indiscipline, which are financially and functionally unviable”.
The amount of Rs 119 crore, Sisodia said, was actually meant to be released only after the finalisation of the revised estimates in February, but the government decided to transfer it in advance given the non-payment of salaries to the sanitation workers by the East MCD.
The striking employees, however, said they would not end the strike unless the “EDMC and state government find a concrete solution to the perennial problem and accept their demands”.
“The Delhi government provided almost double the amount under the non-planned head to the East MCD for the financial year 2015-16 in comparison to previous years and did not even deduct a penny out of the outstanding loan or its interest. For the current fiscal, we have approved disbursal of Rs 609 crore already,” Sisodia told reporters.
“How is it that despite having been provided with almost double the money under non-planned head, which should be primarily used for payment of salaries, the East MCD is not paying salaries to sanitation workers?” he added.
Sisodia said the MCD has committed a contempt of court by having disobeyed Delhi high court order on payment of salaries to all its employees by the seventh of every month.
Meanwhile, the strike continued for the fourth day on Sunday. Though workers abstained from protesting outside MLAs’ offices, they gathered outside EDMC headquarters to decide future steps.
“We have heard that the Delhi government is going to credit some money on Monday. But the amount is too less to serve our purpose. It will help in paying a month’s salary only after which we will need to get on roads again. We will continue the strike and gherao the office of Anil Bajpai (MLA- Gandhi Nagar) office in Azad Nagar on Monday,” Sanjay Gehlot, president, Swatantra Majdoor Vikas Sanyukt Morcha.
Staff members said they won’t budge till their demands are met. Workers are demanding three month pending salaries, arrears for regularised staff and health insurance.
“The state government and EDMC are fooling us since the last three years. We are not beggars and are not demanding something unnecessary. The state government is trying to get rid of the issue by releasing only one month salary, something which is unacceptable to us. We will continue the strike,” said DP Chandel, president, Rashtriya Safai Mazdoor Congress.