THE DELHI High Court on Thursday asked the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to file a status report in response to a petition seeking timely payment of salaries to nurses working in its health institutions, even as the Delhi government submitted that it was ready to take over educational and health facilities run by the municipal body.
“It is a government institution and I am ready to take over. I am ready to take over all the responsibility… For 5-6 years, I have been doing litigation on one ground or another… they come back and put it on us that this money is to be received, that money is to be received…,” a counsel representing the government submitted.
The oral submission was made at the outset of the hearing of the case filed by Hospital Employees Union for release of the salaries of Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM), Lady Health Visitors (LHV) and Public Health Nurses (PHN) working in the dispensaries, Maternity Homes and Maternity and Child Welfare Centres run by the North MCD. In response to government submission, petitioner counsel Rajiv Agarwal submitted they have no objection if the Delhi government takes over the institutions.
However, the court observed, “You are not the department, you are the employee.”
The North MCD was not represented by anyone during the hearing. The petition filed by the union states that the nurses have been working as frontline Covid warriors but have not been paid their salaries for May, June, July and August. Highlighting the difficulties faced by nurses, it also states that they have been entrusted with duties, including Covid surveillance/survey and have to visit affected areas, home isolated patients, provide oximeters and perform other tasks.
“The lives of ANMs, LHVs and PHNs have become miserable because of the indifferent attitude of respondents in ensuring timely payment of salary,” reads the petition, adding many of the members of the union have also got infected with coronavirus.
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