Delhi

Municipal corporations ask CM to release arrears of staff

They seek provisions to help them fight COVID-19 pandemic; ‘cleaning staff mulling going on strike’

The issue of arrears due to civic body employees – especially safai karamcharis who are yet to receive some component of their salary or the other – came to the fore here on Monday with leaders of the three municipal corporations writing to Chief Minister Arvind Kejirwal urging him to release funds due to the civic bodies under various heads as well as to make special provisions to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said many representatives of the safai karamcharis – who are among many individuals providing essential services as the city seeks to contain the COVID-19 epidemic from spreading – were mulling going on strike to demand their respective dues.

“Not only arrears of salaries, safai karamcharis are also, understandably, demanding that the respective civic bodies where they are employed provide them with protective gear so they don’t risk falling prey to Coronavirus infection,” said a party

source. The BJP is in power at each of the three civic bodies in Delhi.

“Given their budgetary constraints, the civic bodies are not in a position to do so. It is imperative that the Delhi government release the funds due to the three civic bodies so provisions can be made in this regard failing which, the representatives of safai karamcharis have said they may strike work,” the source also said. Welcoming an increase in budget allocation to the three civic bodies “from ₹6,380 crore in 2019-20 to ₹6,828 crore for the financial year 2020-21”, leader of house for the SDMC, Kamaljeet Sherawat said that the government was however not following the assurances made in the Assembly.

She also highlighted that the SDMC was facing a funds crunch due to a reduction in its share by the government and non-release of various funds.

She called for the release of funds of up to ₹294.08 crore under the Basic Rax Assignment as approved by the government and for the release of an additional ₹905 crore to help bring the city back to normalcy, she wrote.

“We are in urgent requirement of funds in sanitation, public health and medical care sectors where all the funds available have been exhausted and are diverting funds wherever available,” wrote EDMC Standing Committee chairperson, Sandeep Kapoor. Standing committee chairperson of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Jai Prakash, called for the release of an additional ₹1,000 crore over and above to meet the current crisis.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:49:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/municipal-corporations-ask-cm-to-release-arrears-of-staff/article31146929.ece

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