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Friday, August 07, 2020

Delhi govt-MCD spar over unpaid hospital staff, waterlogging

Mayors of the three MCDs — North, South and East — blamed the AAP government for waterlogging and demanded that the funds allegedly owed to civic bodies be released soon. AAP leaders hit back at a press conference, accusing the civic bodies of rampant corruption and not paying healthcare workers.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi | Published: July 25, 2020 3:07:38 am
Raghav chadha, aap, aap on congress, aam aadmi party, rajasthan crisis, delhi news, indian express AAP MLA and DJB vice-chairman Raghav Chadha. (File)

 

From waterlogging in the capital to non-payment of salaries to hospital staff, the BJP-led municipal corporations and the Aam Aadmi Party engaged in a bitter faceoff on a host of issues Friday.

Mayors of the three MCDs — North, South and East — blamed the AAP government for waterlogging and demanded that the funds allegedly owed to civic bodies be released soon. AAP leaders hit back at a press conference, accusing the civic bodies of rampant corruption and not paying healthcare workers.

At a joint press conference, North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash, South Delhi Mayor Anamika and East Delhi Mayor Nirmal Jain also alleged that the Delhi government was “not cooperating” with the corporations in fighting Covid or addressing key civic issues.

“Delhi is suffering from Covid and the city government woke up only after the Union Home Minister swung into action. And now people are facing waterlogging. We are saying, let’s work together, but the AAP government doesn’t wish to,” Prakash said.

“There are five agencies associated with waterlogging issues — PWD (Public Works Department), DJB (Delhi Jal Board), DSIIDC (Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation), Flood Department, and MCDs. Four of the agencies are under the Delhi government; we only take care of drains which are up to 4-feet deep. The government should have prepared well for the monsoon. We see what happens at Minto Bridge every year,” he said.

A 56-year-old man driving a mini-truck had drowned Sunday after he was stuck under the waterlogged Minto Bridge.

“We are unable to pay salaries to our healthcare workers as our source of income has dried up during the pandemic. We urge the Delhi government to release funds worth Rs 1,108 crore due to the North MCD, and similarly to the other two corporations,” Prakash said.

At a press conference, AAP MLA and DJB vice-chairman Raghav Chadha said that healthcare workers in MCD-run hospitals had not been given salary for the past three months.

He alleged that this was “because of the corruption plaguing the corporations”: “Delhi’s municipal corporations are one of the biggest corruption machineries of India. The whole of BJP is part of this corruption and they benefit from it. AAP demands that BJP should not violate the rights of doctors, and should immediately pay salaries to doctors who are working tirelessly.”

The MCD’s claim that payment of wages have been irregular due to non-implementation of the 5th Delhi Finance Commission recommendations by the Delhi government was also rejected by AAP. AAP MLA Atishi alleged: “MCDs get money from taxes, property taxes, advertisements, etc, but BJP leaders put it in their pockets. They do the same with the money given to the MCDs by the Delhi government.”

Chadha said AAP will hit the streets if dues owed to health workers are not cleared in the next three days.

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