Striking workers asked to resume work immediately

Striking workers asked to resume work immediately
Municipal authorities today warned striking workers to resume duty with "immediate effect" or face action as piles of garbage mounted and services at hospitals and MCD schools continued to be affected.

The mayors of the civic bodies met Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and sought over Rs 300 crore to pay February-March salaries of the employees as the strike over non-payment of dues entered its ninth day.

In its orders, commissioners of East and North municipal corporations, directed all their employees to resume their duty with immediate effect, be it any department viz engineering, health, sanitation, education, general administration, horticulture, etc.

NDMC commissioner PK Gupta also warned that names of those who do not resume duty will be forwarded to the High Court for creating "nuisance" and accordingly for fixation of civil and criminal liability.

Taking a defiant stand, the sanitation workers said they will continue the agitation till a "permanent solution" is reached at in ensuring timely payment of salaries and dues.

Sisodia met Lt governor Najeeb Jung in the afternoon and briefed him on the steps announced by the government, including its decision to extend Rs 551 crore loan, by bringing "cuts" in the budget allocated for education.

After meeting the mayors at the Delhi Secretariat, Sisodia tweeted, "They have assured me that they are making all efforts to get the striking employees back to work."

The Deputy CM, in-charge of day-to-day governance in the absence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who is on a medical leave, also wrote to city Home Minister Satyender Jain asking him to examine the "functional and legal" feasibilities of taking over the health service of the MCDs.

An MCD doctor's association has written to Kejriwal in this regard and has also sought impleadment in the ongoing case in the Delhi High Court involving the MCDs and the Delhi government.

South Delhi mayor Subhash Arya told Sisodia that the MCDs will accept the loan "as an instalment of Rs 3,000 crore" yet to be paid by the government.

"Sisodia said he will talk to the LG and CM for the release of additional Rs 307 crore to North and East municipal corporations," North Delhi mayor Ravinder Gupta said.

A government official indicated that the amount will be released for the purpose of paying the salaries of the workers as Kejriwal has already stated that he will ensure that all the employees get their dues till the time elections are held to the civic bodies.

A delegation of agitating sanitation workers also met Jung at his residence and termed the amount offered by the AAP government as "insufficient". Tomorrow, they will be meeting the LG again.

Besides releasing the loan of Rs 551 crore, the government has also disbursed the Rs 142 crore to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation as sought by it by way of stamp duty last week, a government official said.

The associations of doctors and teachers said that a final call about continuing the strike will be taken after consulting the leaders of United Front of MCD Employees.

"We have heard about the notices to resume work but we are agitating for a permanent solution which is yet to achieved and so our strike continues," said Rajesh Mishra, president of United Front of MCD Employees.

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