Release funds to EDMC for employees’ salaries: HC to Delhi government

New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the city government to immediately release funds to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation so it can pay salaries to its employees.

A division bench of Justice S. Murlidhar and Justice I.S. Mehta also asked the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government to release the funds by June 15 that would be used for distribution of salaries to employees for the month of May.

It further directed the Delhi Police, government and the EDMC to take “immediate action to remove garbage” from the streets. The court also issued notice to the Delhi government, workers’ union and the EDMC while hearing a PIL seeking directions to the city government to provide financial assistance to civic bodies.

The court asked the Delhi government, police and the EDMC to file a compliance report by June 19.

Fuming over the delayed payment of wages, the EDMC sanitation workers went on a strike and piled up garbage on the streets of east Delhi. They struck work after not being paid salaries for April and May.

The EDMC has failed to pay salaries to its around 11,000 sanitation workers due to what it calls a funds crunch.

The public interest litigation filed by Sharad Tiwari, a resident of Vishwas Nagar in east Delhi, through advocate Sugriv Dubey, said that the Delhi government should cooperate with the civic bodies so that the common man does not suffer.

Hearing the plea, the bench also restrained the workers’ unions from obstructing the removal of garbage by agencies to whom the work has been outsourced after EDMC counsel brought this to the court’s notice.

The court directed the police commissioner to constitute a specific task force to be headed by a sub-inspector level officer in every ward to oversee garbage removal work. It also asked Delhi’s chief secretary and urban development secretary to hold a meeting with the EDMC commissioner and take a decision on the provisional release of funds for paying workers.

Tiwari’s plea said: “The roads have been blocked and due to air pollution different type of diseases will develop in the area of NCT of Delhi. Due to differences between state government and the municipal corporations, the health of common man is being endangered and different types of epidemics will be very terrible. If it rains today the entire garbage will come in the different colonies.”

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