Khem Chand, Seema and Mukesh Bansal, who used to be teachers at schools run by the Municipal Corporations of Delhi, have starkly similar stories. Chand died of a heart attack on January 17, while the other two also died within the last two months. All of them were unable to afford treatment because they had allegedly not received salaries for the past three months. The allegation was raised by the municipal corporation teachers’ union at a protest Monday.
Municipal corporation teachers from across schools in east and north civic bodies gathered at the corporation headquarters and held a condolence meet for the three teachers Monday. They also threatened to intensify their protest if salaries are not paid immediately.
Speaking about the deceased, Basharat Hussein, a teacher of a Chandni Chowk school, alleged, “Chand was under immense pressure. He had taken loans from banks as the corporation has not been paying salaries for three months now.” Hussein said Chand was stressed since he had been getting calls from the bank to pay the loan installments. He added that Chand’s family members have told him that he had no history of heart ailment. Vibha Singh, senior vice president of the Nagar Nigam Shikshak Sangh, said, “It is high time to take strict action, even deliberate on filing an FIR against the corporation commissioners.”
A writ petition has also been filed in the Delhi High Court on January 5, wherein the counsel for the corporation said that this situation is because of non-release of funds under the Fourth Delhi Finance Commission by the Delhi government. “We want to ask that when the south corporation can manage to pay the teachers, why can’t the other two corporation do so? We are tired of the blame game between the Delhi government and the corporations,” said Ajay Gupta, a teacher at a corporation school in Rohini.
North civic body mayor Preety Agarwal said, “I have asked the commissioner to release their salaries, but the corporation is also fighting financial difficulty.” EDMC mayor Neema Bhagat could not be reached for a comment.