Delhi MCD workers protest outside CM Kejriwal’s house, clash with police -
Delhi MCD workers protest outside CM Kejriwal’s house, clash with police
Posted 04 Oct 2018 05:54 PM

East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) sanitation workers are protesting outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Thursday. They also clashed with the police when the latter tried to disperse them.

The workers have been on strike since September 12 over long-standing issues, including non-payment of salaries, arrears, regularisation of posts and health benefits. The areas affected by the strike include Lakshmi Nagar, Geeta Colony, Shakarpur, Laxmi Nagar, Krishna Nagar and parts of Mayur Vihar.

In the wake of the protest, Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam met the Delhi CM along with 15 representatives from the union. Expressing concerns over the sanitation condition in the national capital, CM Kejriwal alleged that the protesters were being misled and egged on by BJP. “I am going to speak to them (workers) directly and put the facts in front of them,” he tweeted.

Kejriwal also accused the Centre and BJP-led municipal corporations of turning the sanitation services topsy-turvy. “I am very worried about our sanitation workers. They have to go on strike every two months to get salaries,” he posted on the micro-blogging site.

On Wednesday, the Delhi government had informed the Supreme Court that it would release Rs 500 crore within two days to help the body overcome the current crisis.

Out of the three municipal corporations in Delhi, EDMC has witnessed the most financial stress over the past six years, when the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was trifurcated. EDMC generates the least revenue among the three.

While the South Delhi Municipal Corporation has also sought funds, the counsel for Delhi government said the “offer has been made without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the Delhi Government”, something that was noted in the order of the court as well.

The Delhi government has maintained that they are disbursing their share of funds to the municipal corporations but poor utilisation of the funds is leading to non-payment of salaries to the workers.

Municipal corporation officials, however, claim that the Delhi government’s refusal to adopt the fourth finance commission recommendations shows that the former is not getting the required amount to run the corporations.

Workers of MCD Swachhta Karamchari Union, headed by AAP MLA Sanjay Gahlot, had earlier announced to stage a dharna outside CM Arvind Kejriwal’s residence as well as the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) headquarters in Patparganj. “None of the political parties are interested in our welfare… This time we will not relent until our demands are met,” a worker said.

Since 2015, sanitation workers of the East civic body have gone on strike eight times over similar demands. According to sources, both the East and North civic bodies need a Rs 7,000-crore bailout package to pull them out of the financial crisis.

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