MCD warns doctors, may go for ESMA

Tries to stop mass leave

The North Corporation has threatened to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act against doctors and class-4 employees who have decided to go on mass casual leave on Friday.

Doctors under the civic-body run hospitals had threatened to go on mass casual leave on Friday and carry out a march to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung’s house in protest against not getting salaries. The notice issued to the doctors mention that salaries will be deducted and if need be, criminal cases will be filed against them under the ESMA.

“Going on a mass casual leave amount to violation of the 2002 Delhi High Court order which mentions that no employees can resort to disruptive activity. Patients will suffer in the process which is a violation of the HC order,” said Dr D K Seth, Director, Bara Hindu Rao Hospital.

Doctors at the North Delhi Municipal Corporation-run Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, Kasturba Hospital and other health centres have been agitating since the past week over pending salaries. The doctors have been striking work for three hours everyday since last week. 

The doctors, however, decided to go on with the strike despite the North Corporation order. “We are fighting for our right. It is unfair that the hospital will issue such orders,” said Dr R R Gautam, president, Municipal Corporation Doctors’ Association (MCDA). 

“Doctors are participating on voluntary basis. We have not forced anyone to join the agitation,” said Dr Gautam.

They met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who had assured them the funds would be released in a week. But the MCD has not received any funds till now. 

North Corporation mayor Ravinder Gupta met Jung on Thursday seeking release  of funds. “The LG has assured us that he will immediately write to the Chief Minister for the release of funds. It is unfair that employees should suffer for lack of funds,” said Gupta.

Gupta told Jung that the sanitation workers have not received salaries either. “Sanitation services will soon collapse if funds are not provided to the civic agency. We are not seeking help but demanding our share of funds,” he said.

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