The Delhi High Court has directed the Aap Aadmi Party (AAP) government to release funds to two of the three Municipal Corporations in the city withing four weeks to enable them to pay salaries to their staff and teachers. In its order on Monday, the court observed that non-payment of salaries can lead to ‘anarchy’ and the city suffers.
A report in The Indian Express said that the HC bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar passed an interim order directing the city government to release funds to the North and East Corporations immediately. The HC observed that the city suffers when salaries are not paid to ‘safai karamcharis’ (sanitation workers). This, the HC said, results in spread of diseases like dengue and chikungunya, causing deaths.
The HC said that the city government shouldn’t make it an ego issue and said that “since the GoI is not paying you, you will not pay the MCDs”. The HC said that it is painful that civic bodies workers are not being paid. “If they (sanitation workers) are not paid, the city will have to suffer. There will be anarchy… filth will be seen all around. People won’t be able to live, which we do not want,” the IE report quoted the bench as saying.
The court also asked the AAP government to explain the basis on which it has been releasing funds to the civic bodies. It ordered the city government to file an affidavit on its calculation based on which it has been releasing funds. Besides, it issued a notice to the Central government seeking details of funds for which the Delhi government is entitled for and also on what basis the decision is taken. The HC granted time till August 28 file their responses.
The East Municipal Corporation has paid their staff till January 31 this year whereas the North Municipal Corporation had last time paid their staff in November 2017. Several sanitation staff have been protesting against the government for not paying their salaries. The AAP government had been maintaining that it has already released ‘more’ funds to the civic bodies and accused the Centre of sitting on files and not releasing its part of funds.