Kejriwal urges Jung to direct DDA to clear civic bodies’ dues
With MCD sanitation workers striking work over the non-payment of salaries and arrears, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has urged Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung to direct the Delhi Development Authority to immediately clear their dues running into over Rs 1,600 crore.
A section of sanitation staff has called off the strike. Talking about fund crunch faced by the three municipal corporations, the CM said work of the civic bodies were “adversely affected” and the issue was also raised in a meeting called by Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu on October 1.
In a letter to the LG, Kejriwal has said: “Due to financial crunch, the municipal corporations are unable to meet their core functions relating to handling and removal of garbage.”
“Often the municipal corporations delay paying monthly salaries to safai karmcharis (sanitation workers), which causes threats of strikes by them,” the Chief Minister said.
He said the Delhi government has strived for the timely release of funds and grants to all three municipal corporations under plan and non-plan heads.
Underlining property tax as one of the main sources of revenue generation to the civic bodies, Kejriwal said: “It is informed that the DDA owes more than Rs 1,600 crore to them in terms of property tax.” The DDA owes Rs 765 crore property tax to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Rs 590 crore to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and Rs 200 crore to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, he stated in the letter.
Urging the LG to look into the matter, Kejriwal asked him to give suitable “instructions” to the DDA and clear the outstanding with respect to property tax to the MCDs at the earliest.
Demanding regular payment of salaries, arrears, regularisation of their posts, cashless health card, sanitation workers went on strike from October 23. In June, too, they had gone on a 14-day-long strike raising the same demands.