MCD staff to meet LG today, hopeful of positive solution

Say will end strike if Kejri govt hikes relief amount

Protests grew bigger on Thursday causing much inconvenience to people living in east and north Delhi while the AAP government and the three municipal corporations indulged in unfruitful deliberations as the indefinite strike entered ninth day.

Municipal employees, however, are hopeful that some positive solution will come out from their meeting with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on Friday.

“The amount (Rs 693 crore) issued by the city government is not sufficient. If only the amount given by the city government is increased then we might consider ending the agitation,” said Sanjay Gehlot, president of Swatantra Mazdoor Vikas Sanyukt Morcha.

Legal action
Earlier in day, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation issued a notice asking striking employees to resume duties failing which legal action will be taken against them.

While mayors of the three municipalities echoed the municipal employees’ concern and sought a “permanent solution” to the present predicament from Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, the minister said that he would ask Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to make Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to clear corporations’ dues.

North and East Corporation employees, including sanitation workers, doctors, teachers, nurses, para-medical staff and engineers have been on strike demanding timely payment of salaries. Even the South Delhi Municipal Corporation sanitation workers have struck work showing solidarity with their coworkers.

A delegation of three mayors met Sisodia on Thursday.
“We need a permanent solution. This interim relief (Rs 550 crore) will help to give salaries of the employees for January only,” said North Corporation Mayor Ravinder Gupta. “We will treat this amount as grant under the Third Finance Commission,” he added.

East Delhi Mayor Harsh Deep Malhotra echoed similar concerns.
“Both the North and East Corporations need Rs 307 crore to pay salaries to their employees for February. We asked the Deputy CM to give corporations funds under the Third Finance Commission and implement the recommendations of the Fourth Finance Commission. But in vain,” he added.

Gupta also said that the city government’s move to “impose conditions such as demanding jurisdiction over DDA, municipal hospital, Delhi Police in lieu of extending services to citizens is irresponsible and baseless”.

“The Deputy Chief Minister said that he would speak with the LG and the CM regarding various issues being raised by the corporations,” he added.

The North Corporation had said that the civic agency has spent Rs 1,995 crore for “employees’ related expenditure” so far in 2015-16 financial year and it had received only Rs 890 crore from the city government under non-planned heads.

Sisodia urged mayors to persuade employees to end the strike and resume duties.
“Met all 3 Mayors just now. They hv assured me that they are making all efforts to get the striking employees back to work,” Sisodia tweeted.

The ninth day of the strike saw higher heaps of garbage, multiple protests and traffic snarls in many areas of Delhi.

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