While both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress in the MCD asserted on Friday that the earlier disclosure made by the civic body of having 22,853 “ghost employees” on its payrolls was “baseless”, senior MCD officials preferred to remain tight-lipped till the final report is out.

A probe team comprising five additional commissioners is looking into the issue, compiling relevant data of employee attendances from all 12 zonal offices of the MCD. However, senior officials claimed that the number of missing employees found so far had been negligible.

MCD House Leader Subhash Arya said: “The announcement by officials about unearthing a scam was done in haste in an attempt to mislead. The main confusion was because the safai karamcharis were not included in the registration system for the biometric system of attendance.”

Leader of Opposition in MCD Jai Kishan Sharma also said reports about “missing” staff had no basis. “There are no fake employees on MCD’s payrolls. This entire episode has eroded the reputation of the civic body as it was pulled up by both the Union Home Ministry and the Delhi Government. This wrongly projected image of the MCD in the minds of the people must be cleared,” he added.

The civic body in a statement issued in November last year had said that it had unearthed 22,853 “ghost employees” going by records of the newly-introduced fingerprint-based biometric attendance system.

Earlier an inquiry report by Municipal Commissioner K.S. Mehra submitted to Delhi Mayor Kanwar Sain had revealed alleged irregularities after which the MCD had said it would recommend a CBI probe into the matter. The civic body had also stated that the “missing employees” had been costing it a whopping loss of Rs.17 crore every month.

MCD Standing Committee chairman Ram Kishan Singhal said : “The number of missing employees, if at all any, cannot be that high and we will get a clear picture after the probe committee set up by civic body in this regard submits its final report.”

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