Municipal workers on strike dug in heels on day 10 of their strike Friday even as Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung offered Rs 300-crore loan to the North and East civic bodies to end the standoff.
After a meeting with three mayors, Jung’s office said the money would be given as loan from Delhi Development Authority, which, according to the AAP government, owes the corporations Rs 1,575 crore.
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The Delhi government had extended a loan of Rs 551 crore to the civic bodies Wednesday to deal with the crisis. The mayors said they would accept it only as a grant.
A glimmer of hope emerged as a section of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff called off their strike after meeting mayors of the civic bodies.
However, garbage remained on the streets as different workers’ unions refused to budge, demanding a permanent solution for the recurring problems, despite appeals and assurances from the three mayors.
The agitating workers including sanitation staff are demanding salaries, arrears and unification of the civic bodies.
The three mayors — Ravinder Gupta, Subhash Arya and Harshdeep Malhotra — requested the Lt Governor to discuss the matter with the Delhi government and the Centre to come out with a concrete solution to the financial crisis.
The mayors are pressing for funds to be provided to the civic bodies under the Third Delhi Finance Commission and implementation of the recommendations of the fourth commission.
The mayors also urged the Lt Governor to convince the Delhi government to give a special package for releasing arrears of employees and meeting their other demands.
As of now, the civic bodies have paid dues of employees till January 31. Amid emergency measures to clean the streets, the Delhi government and the civic bodies have traded charges over the last 10 days. Hospitals and schools have been affected too.
The PTI reported the Municipal Corporation Doctors’ Association decided to call off the strike, but leaders of Resident Doctors’ Association stressed their strike was on and a final decision will be taken Saturday.
President of Delhi BJP Satish Upadhyay, whose party runs the three civic bodies, said the mayors are in touch with the agitators and have conveyed to him that there will be “good result” tomorrow, added PTI.