Delhi to give Rs.500 crore to clear MCD workers’ pay arrears

New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) The Delhi government will release Rs.500 crore to the capital’s civic bodies to clear salary arrears of its municipal corporations’ employees, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday.

He said that the central government will be responsible for any delay in payment of salary of MCD workers in future and they should protest outside the houses of central ministers since the municipal corporations were controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“We have decided to release Rs.500 crore to the North and East Delhi Municipal Corporations,” Kejrwal told a gathering of sanitation workers at Ramlila Maidan here.

The sanitation workers have not been given salaries for the last three months. Several of them from the East and North Corporations have been on strike intermittently to protest the non-payment of salaries.

“We have done all that we could. Please understand we can’t keep doing this. We had first paid arrears till March, then May. We have no more left,” Kejriwal said, adding: “If you do not get salaries next month, protest outside central ministers’ homes.”

Targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for providing financial aid to Mongolia but not distressed MCD workers, he said: “PM Modi gave so much money to Mongolia so if you all go to him I am sure he will give money to pay your salary.”

“I do not want to play politics here as I appeal all the BJP corporators, Congress councillors, all the three mayors and AAP leaders to approach prime minister and ask for money…,” he said.

He also said that Delhi pays over Rs. 1.31 lakh crore to central government every year but only gets only Rs.2,100 crore in return.

“We get almost nothing in return from central government. We should at least be given Rs.50,000 crore for development of Delhi,” he said, hitting out at the central government for “sucking the blood” of Delhi’s people.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which controls all the three municipal corporations in the city, has accused the Aam Aadmi Party government of not releasing the money to pay the salaries of the MCD employees.

The AAP, however, says it is the outcome of mishandling of finances by the
corporations.

Workers from East Delhi corporation have in the past spread garbage in Mayur Vihar and Patparganj areas to protest over delay in payment of salaries.

“My salaries for April and May are not yet paid. We are facing a huge financial crisis. We too have to feed our family,” said sanitation worker Ranu who had come to attend the rally.

Few sanitation workers also waved black banners in the rally and protested against civic body officials.

“We want our salary and dues to be cleared. We brave sun on roads and keep the city clean but for how long we will work without salary. Like every person we also need money to run our lives,” lamented another sanitation employee.

Akhil Bhartiya Safai Mazdoor Sangh president Krishnapal Pracha said that this was a big issue, with both the government and the corporations passing the blame on each other.

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