Mayors of Delhi’s three municipal corporations have demanded that sanitation workers be exempted from further duty with the Delhi government as it will affect their primary job of sanitation and anti-mosquito operations. Mayor of South Delhi Municipal Corporation Sunita Kangra said the Delhi government had asked for 50 workers from each ward to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
There has been a long-standing conflict between the BJP-led MCDs and AAP-led Delhi government. The corporations accuse the government of not giving their fair share of funds, while the government alleges misappropriation of funds by corporations.
Kangra has written to Lt-Governor Anil Baijal seeking exemption for South MCD workers from other duties. She said several sanitation workers are engaged in cleanliness and sanitisation in containment zones, but the government asked for an additional 50 workers in each ward. There are 272 municipal wards in Delhi.
“The government has engaged our workers in food distribution at government shelters and quarantine centres but are not engaging their own school staff and civil defence volunteers. Now the mosquito season is upon us and there is a fear dengue will be widespread this year,” she said.
Domestic breeding checkers (DBCs) are busy tackling the virus spread and officials are apprehensive of a vector-borne disease outbreak. Around 3,500 DBCs are employed across the North, South and East MCDs.
Mayor of North MCD Avtar Singh also wrote to the L-G, demanding that no additional duties be assigned to the available municipal staff. He said the North body has exempted employees who are more than 55 years of age from regular duties.
East MCD mayor Anju Kamla-kant said that additional sanitation staff should not be deputed for other roles as it will hamper anti-mosquito operations.
Meanwhile, Sanjay Goel, who is the coordinator of corona foot warrior teams, said the district magistrates concerned have been assured by the SDMC that required staff will be provided.