Huge manpower of cleaning staff but Delhi still stinks, says Delhi high court
The court noted that there was a “huge manpower” of cleaning staff — 15,000 in East MCD; 26,000 in North MCD and 23,000 South MCD — “despite which Delhi was being smothered with garbage and sewage”.Updated: Jul 04, 2017, 16:07 IST
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the municipal corporations here to identify each ‘safai karamchaari’ (cleaning staff) according to their respective wards, so that the latter’s details can be put up at the site where they are assigned work.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that the location and time-wise work roster of all the safai karamchaaris, along with their photographs, should be put on the respective website of the corporation.
Referring to the MCD cleaning staff not showing up for work, the bench also remarked, “Payment be made only against work actually done. No one takes wages for work not done. Culture of not discharging your duties has to go”. It also said that the cleaning staff should be paid first and then the other MCD employees.
The court noted that there was a “huge manpower” of cleaning staff — 15,000 in East MCD; 26,000 in North MCD and 23,000 South MCD — “despite which Delhi was being smothered with garbage and sewage”.
The bench directed the commissioners of the three municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs) to monitor the attendance of the cleaning staff and to frame a proposal for ensuring they discharge their duties.
The court also said “insufficient action” was taken against those who litter the city or allow garbage to accumulate, despite several littering magistrates assigned to the three MCDs.
During the hearing, the city government, represented by advocate Sanjoy Ghose, said it gets only Rs 325 crore from the Centre, despite generating over Rs 91,000 crore in tax revenue.
Following the submission, the bench sought response of the finance ministry.
The Delhi government said that the High Court, in another matter, had directed the Centre to implement the recommendations of the Fourth Delhi Finance Commission, but it has not been done.
This was submitted in response to the three municipal corporations’ claim that they were not getting sufficient funds from the Delhi government as it was not implementing the Fourth Finance Commission recommendations.
The Delhi government said that the funds received by the MCDs under the Swachh Bharat scheme is lying unutilised. The Centre has released Rs 104 crore and the city government another Rs 35 crore to the MCDs under the scheme.
The bench also issued directions regarding creating public awareness, and collection and disposal of waste. It appointed the DSLSA as the nodal body to be assisted by the deputy commissioners of the three MCDs as well as experts nominated by the Centre and the New Delhi Municipal Council.
The panel constituted by the court also includes environmentalists MC Mehta, Sunita Narayanan and Almitra Patel.
The directions were issued by the court while hearing two petitions filed by lawyers Arpit Bhargava and Gauri Grover, who have sought directions to the municipal bodies and other authorities to take steps to prevent spread of vector-borne diseases like dengue, chikungunya and malaria.