Non-payment of wages and salaries to safai karamcharis will lead to “anarchy” in the capital, and filth will be seen all around the roads, the Delhi High Court said on Monday. It asked the AAP government to release funds to two of the three municipal corporations within four weeks so that they can pay staff members and teachers immediately.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that if safai karamcharis suffer, the city, too, will suffer all kind of problems, including dengue and chikungunya. “Already there are reports that dengue and chikungunya have caused deaths. So do not wait for more deaths to take place. You (Delhi government) release funds to East and North Corporations, so that they can pay salaries,” the bench said.
It added that “at present, the Delhi government should not make it an ego issue and say that since Government of India is not paying you, you will not pay the MCDs”. “How painful it is that workers are not being paid. If they are not paid, city will have to suffer. There will be anarchy… filth will be seen all around. People won’t be able to live, which we do not want,” the bench said.
The court, however, made it clear that it is an interim order to ensure the lives of employees return to normal.
The bench also directed the Delhi government to place on affidavit its calculation based on which it has been releasing funds to the MCDs. A direction was also issued to the Centre to indicate, on affidavit by August 28, the funds the Delhi government was entitled to and the basis for deciding the same.
Govt yet to release Rs 1,500 cr: North body
Standing committee chairman of the North Corporation, Tilak Raj Kataria, said that as per the fourth Delhi Finance Commission, around Rs 1,500 crore is due with the government. “Once the payment is released, it will improve the financial condition of the corporation drastically, and help make timely payment of salaries to employees,” he said.
East Corporation commissioner Ranveer Singh said the body needs around Rs 300 crore to clear salaries of its staff for 2017-2018.