Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government on Wednesday told Supreme Court that it was willing to release a fund of Rs 500 crore for the payment of salaries to sanitation workers of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC). The EDMC workers are on strike seeking regular payment of salaries and regularisation, leading to a pile of garbage mounted up in the region.
After Kejriwal government’s offer, the Supreme Court bench also asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh, appearing for the Centre and Delhi Lieutenant Governor, as to whether they could also release a similar amount to “tide over the present crisis”.
The bench, comprising Justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, referred to the offer by the Delhi government to release the amount, and said that if the central government or the Delhi Lieutenant Governor also make a similar offer, it would be sans any prejudice to the rights and contentions of either of the parties.
“It is common knowledge that sanitation workers are abstaining from work in East Delhi. As a result of this, there is a huge amount of garbage that has piled up. There are, of course, differences on how the issue is to be tackled. The Lieutenant Governor has one point of view but the Delhi Government has a different point of view,” the bench said.
The bench also asked Delhi government lawyer Rahul Mehra to take instructions in the matter as to whether they could release some amount to resolve the issue. After taking the instructions, Mehra told the bench that they would release Rs 500 crore without prejudice to their rights and contentions.
The lawyers appearing for the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) urged that they should also get money which was to be released by Delhi government.
To this, the bench decided that Delhi government will decide how much fund to be allocated to which body. “Delhi government has volunteered to give Rs 500 crore. How much is to be given to EDMC, SDMC or North DMC, they will decide it,” the bench said, adding that the issue of strike was to be dealt with by the Delhi government, the Centre or the Lieutenant Governor.