Scores of municipal sanitation workers today staged a protest outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence here, demanding payment of their salaries and arrears. The safai karmacharis from the corporations raised slogans near the 6 Flagstaff House in Civil Lines area, partially obstructing the flow of traffic in the street. “We have been telling time and again that our salary and arrear issues be resolved comprehensively but we are stuck between the AAP government and the BJP-led corporations. “We have assembled here today to demand from Kejriwal that a meeting of the three municipal commissioners be called by him and the issue be resolved once and for all,” Mazdoor Vikas Samyukta Morcha president Sanjay Gehlot said.
He said the workers have also threatening to go on an “indefinite” strike if their demands were not met. “We have not got our due salaries and arrears and we will continue to protest till we don’t,” he said. Gehlot claimed employees from all three civic bodies took part in the protest outside Kejriwal’s residence. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had in late February approved a loan of Rs 200 crore to the cash-strapped North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) for payment of its employees’ salaries.
In January, he had announced a fresh fund of Rs 119 crore to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC). The erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was trifurcated in 2012 into NDMC, SDMC and EDMC. AAP government has said that adequate fund has been given by it to the three corporations, which have “not been properly utilised” by the MCD. Gehlot alleged that despite announcement of release of funds, “workers have not received it.”
The government in Lok Sabha recently had said that salaries of sanitation workers in NDMC have been paid till January. “The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has informed that there is no pendency of disbursement of salary to its employees. “The salary of EDMC employees other than sanitation staff are reportedly pending for January and February 2017,” the Centre had said in the Lower House.