Teachers, nurses, and other employees of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation said they will be forced to not celebrate Diwali properly for the third year in a row as the corporation has not paid salaries for the past one-two months.
There are around 8,000 teachers, 5,000 nurses, paramedics and health workers and thousands of other staff employed under the civic body.
Ram Niwas Solanki, general secretary of the Municipal Corporation Teachers’ Association, said though the salary delay is a constant, it is worse when they cannot celebrate a festival properly because of it. “There has been a two-month delay now; our children want new clothes and toys, and we find ourselves helpless,” he said.
A nurse at Hindu Rao hospital added: “There is a delay of over a month now. We are left with no expectations of any bonus, but we expect a timely payment at least during Diwali.”
North MCD’s standing committee head Jogi Ram Jain said: “Around one month’s salary is due for most segments and that too would be credited soon.”
Hitting out at the BJP, Leader of Opposition in North MCD Vikas Goyal said it has “no moral right to stay in power” if it can’t pay staff on time. He said the AAP would hold an indefinite dharna outside the civic centre demanding salaries of workers.
Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor claimed civic bodies are under financial constraints as the Delhi government is not releasing pending municipal funds exceeding Rs 13,000 crore as per the 3rd, 4th & 5th Delhi Finance Commission recommendations.
“It will be better if instead of doing lip-service, the three leaders of opposition get together and ask Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to release pending municipal funds so that staff salaries can be paid on time,” he said.