After the strike by the safai karmcharis and tussle over funds with municipal corporations, Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to ask Delhi Development Authority to pay their property tax dues to the corporations. Kejriwal in his letter gave details of property tax dues of DDA towards each corporation.
The Lt Governor is the chairman of DDA. The CM has said that corporations are finding it difficult to perform their functions like removal of garbage due to fund crunch. This has happened because safai karmcharis have not got their salaries, he said.
“As you are aware municipal corporations are having financial constraints because of which some activities of the corporations are getting adversely affected. The issue was also raised during the meeting taken by the union minister of urban development on September 1, 2015. Due to financial crunch corporations are unable to meet their core/obligatory functions relating to handling removal of garbage. Often the corporations delay paying monthly salaries to their safai karmcharis which leads to threats of strikes by safai karmcharis,” wrote the CM.
The CM said that Delhi government did make efforts to release funds and grants under plan and non plan heads to all three municipal corporations on time. Observing that main source of revenue for the corporations is property tax, the CM wrote, “Property tax is one of the main sources of revenue for the corporation to meet the expenditure incurred by them in performing its obligatory functions.”
”The DDA owes more than Rs 1,600 crore to three corporations in property tax. The CM asked Jung to get DDA to release funds to the corporations. “DDA owes North DMC Rs 590 crore, SDMC Rs 765 crore, EDMC Rs 200 crore. I would like you to look in to the matter and give suitable instructions to the DDA to clear all the outstanding dues with respect to property tax to the three municipal corporations at the earliest,” wrote Kejriwal.
Meanwhile, Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay criticised the CM for writing the letter. Upadhyay said, “The chief minister is merely politicising the issue. There are many Delhi government departments who also owe the municipal corporations. Delhi Jal board, Delhi Transco limited and many more have to pay tax to corporations. He should first ask them to clear corporations dues,” stated Upadhyay.
Swatantra Majdoor Vikas Sanyukta Morcha safai karmchari on Sunday called off strike after meeting Delhi minister Sandeep kumar. The karmcharis said that Delhi government has assured them to pay their salaries and will ensure that they get their salaries in future after which they called off their strike.