No one can take wages for work not done, the Delhi High Court said today referring to MCD cleaning staff not showing up for work. The location and time-wise work roster as well as the identity of each cleaning staff or ‘safai karamchaari’ should be put up on the website of the corporations, the court directed and also suggested that these details be put up at the site which a worker is assigned. “Payment be made only against work actually done. No one takes wages for work not done. Culture of not discharging your duties has to go,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said and added that the cleaning staff would be paid first and then the other MCD employees. The court noted that there was a “huge manpower” of cleaning staff — 15,000 in East MCD, 26,000 in North MCD and 23,000 South MCD — “despite which Delhi was being smothered under garbage and sewage”.
The bench directed the Commissioners of the three municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs) to monitor the attendance of the cleaning staff and to frame a proposal for ensuring they discharge their duties. This was one of the short term measures suggested by the court, which has been monitoring the issue of garbage removal and disposal from the city after it was told that lack of cleanliness also lead to spread of vector-borne diseases like dengue. Apart from that the court also focused on the “insufficient action” taken against those who litter the city or allow garbage to accumulate, despite several littering magistrates assigned to the three MCDs.
It took on record the assurance given by the Commissioners of the three MCDs that stringent action will be taken against those found littering and those who cause garbage to pile up which in turn leads to dangerous diseases. “Leave a place clean and it would not be littered. Look at how clean the Delhi Metro is,” the court said. The bench also issued directions regarding creating public awareness regarding collection and disposal of waste, saying no long-term plan for making and keeping the city clean would work without participation of the citizens.
The court noted that as there was “no cohesion” in the activities of the three MCDs, therefore a nodal agency isrequired to design a programme for creating public awareness. To achieve this objective, the bench appointed the DSLSA as the nodal body to be assisted by the Deputy Commissioners of the three MCDs as well as experts nominated by the Centre and the New Delhi Municipal Council. The panel constituted by the court also includes environmentalists M C Mehta, Sunita Narayanan and Almitra
Patel. It asked the panel to submit its report on the design and programme as well as the publicity material within four weeks and listed the matter for hearing on July 12.
The cost of creating the programme which shall include the emoluments to be paid to those working on it shall be borne by the Delhi government, the bench said. The directions were issued by the court while hearing two PILs filed by lawyers Arpit Bhargava and Gauri Grover who have sought directions to the municipal bodies and other authorities to take steps to prevent spread of vector borne diseases like dengue, chikungunya and malaria.