Salaries of approximately 45,000 employees of the East and North Corporations have been delayed once again owing to the continuing financial difficulties of the two civic bodies. Nearly 15,000 employees of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), comprising the top three categories — A, B and C — have not received paychecks for the last two months.
In the North, about 30,000 employees under the three categories are yet to receive last month’s salary. However, the corporations have disbursed salaries of D category workers — safai karamcharis. Last year, the corporation had delayed salaries of sanitation workers multiple times because they were short of funds, prompting them to go on strike.
The East Corporation runs a monthly salary bill of Rs 120 crore while an additional Rs 14 crore is spent on pensions. The civic body has been clamouring for implementation of the Fourth Finance Commission report, which brings to the corporation about Rs 1,700 crore extra per year — its share of the state government’s tax collection.
The corporation’s financial troubles are rooted in the skewed distribution of assets and resources during the trifurcation of the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Officials said that during the time of trifurcation, East was to receive priority funding in the ratio of 40:40:20 (East:North:South) but the move has not been actualised.
EDMC Commissioner Mohanjeet Singh told The Sunday Express that while the internal income of the corporation amounts to approximately Rs 65 crore, “expenses outweigh the income by far”. However, with safai karamcharis being paid “up to date”, Singh said a crisis like last year — when workers resorted to spilling garbage on the streets — has been averted. “Most employees have been paid till April. There is no delay in payments of D category workers,” he said.
East Delhi mayor Nima Bhagat told The Sunday Express that only one (Shahdara South) of the two EDMC zones brings any revenue and that the civic body will not be able to sustain itself without the government’s cooperation.
Earlier this week, North Delhi commissioner P K Gupta had also stated that the corporation needs finances over Rs 500 crore to sustain itself and carry out day-to-day operations.