The municipal corporations today told Delhi High Courtthat they have paid salaries to their employees till December 2015, even as sanitation workers continued their strike claiming non-payment of wages.
The corporations also told a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath that they did not have the money to pay salaries for January 2016 and the coming months.
They alleged that Delhi government has not released the entire funds that it has to give them each year and asked how it could “abdicate its responsibilities” towards the corporations.
Delhi government on the other hand contended that it had released the entire plan and non-plan grant-in-aid that was due to the corporations.
It also said that in view of the poor performance of the corporations, year after year, the municipal reform funds would not be given to them.
Municipal reform funds are provided under the recommendations of the 3rd Finance Commission for Delhi.
The government also told the court that Delhi Development Authority (DDA) owed the three MCDs a total of over Rs 1555 crore as property tax.
The court, thereafter, sought responses of DDA and the Centre on the issues raised and listed the matter for further hearing on February 10.
The court was hearing a PIL claiming that due to non- payment of salaries and arrears since 2003 to the workers of the municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs), the sanitation staff was not removing the garbage from the streets.
Meanwhile, an association representing doctors employed by the MCDs has sought impleadment in the matter.
They have also sought a direction to take away health services along with doctors from the corporations and hand them over to the Delhi government.
The association has alleged in its application that the corporations are “giving lame, false and misleading excuses” for non-payment of salary as the MCD managements were “working for their personal gain and political motives”.
Apart from sanitation workers, the MCDs’ doctors too have
been on strike for last 72 hours over non-payment of wages, prompting an association, representing young lawyers across the country, to move a PIL seeking directions to the doctors to immediately call off their strike.
Youth Bar Association of India, through its President Sanpreet Singh Ajmani, has asked “whether the call of strike by practicing
Doctors, nurses, hospitals, pathology labs, ambulance operators and clinics is legal, proper and justified.”
In its petition, it has sought directions to doctors and nurses on strike to call it off and “resume medical services with immediate effect in the interest of public at large” as thousands of people went to hospitals and clinics being run by the corporations daily.
The petition has contended that doctors and nurses provided an “essential public service” and thus, should not go on strike.
The court is likely to hear this PIL tomorrow.
( Source – PTI )