Delhi Govt vs MCD
Employees of the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs) went on strike Wednesday, demanding salaries, arrears and unification of the civic bodies. They gathered in protest in several parts of the capital including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence.
The protesters gave authorities three days to release their dues and threatened to go on indefinite strike if their demands were not met within this deadline. Doctors, teachers, nurses, accounts officers as well as sanitation workers were a part of the protests at Jantar Mantar as well as the zonal offices of the civic bodies.
The Delhi government claims it has given the MCDs all its dues for the current financial year, but corporation officials say the government has only provided funds as per its own budget estimates and not the budget requirements of the civic bodies.
“Entire amount of Rs 892.92 crore i.e. 100% of the revised estimates of the year 2015-16 for North Delhi Municipal Corporation under non plan has been released by the Delhi government. Similarly, in case of East Delhi Municipal Corporation, entire amount of Rs 465.53 crore i.e. also 100% of the revised estimates of the year 2015-16 has been released by the Delhi government,” the government said in a statement.
However, the corporations said while grant-in-aid has been provided “in full”, the Municipal Reform Fund remains unpaid, since the Sheila (Dikshit) government went out of power in 2013. This amount, as per the corporations, is Rs 1,322 crore.
Apart from this, the three BJP-ruled corporations criticised the government for delaying the implementation of the Fourth Finance Commission report. It was ultimately tabled in the assembly and accepted by the AAP government on December 2 last year. The report recommends higher share of the state government’s taxes to the corporations.
However, while accepting the report, the government said it will implement the report when the Centre does. The corporations apply this retrospectively, since the implementation of the report became due, and calculate a fund deficit of Rs 6,176 crore for all three civic bodies since 2013.
The protesters do not wish to be concerned with the financial back and forth. “We do not want to be involved with who owes how much to the other. We want to highlight the difficulties of our day-to-day lives. Our complaint is against the Centre, state and MCDs,” said Rajendra Mewati, general secretary of the United Front of MCD Employees.
He added that the sanitation employees “will not spill garbage on the streets, but starting tomorrow, will not clean it either.
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