In an apparent boost to the Arvind Kejriwal government’s claims over salary row, the municipal corporations on Tuesday told Delhi High Court that they had paid salaries to their employees till December 2015.
This spectacular confession is bound to raise questions to the decision by sanitation workers to go on strike complaining non-payment of salaries.
According to PTI news agency, the corporations also told a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath that they did not have the money to pay salaries for January 2016 and the coming months.
They alleged that Delhi government had not released the entire funds that it is expected to give them each year and asked how it could “abdicate its responsibilities” towards the corporations.
Delhi government, for its part, reiterated it earlier stand that it had released the entire plan and non-plan grant-in-aid.
The AAP government made it clear that it planned to block the municipal reform funds in view of the MCD’s poor performances, year after year.
The government also told the court that Delhi Development Authority (DDA) owed the three MCDs a total of over Rs 1555 crore as property tax.
After hearing the responses from both the Delhi government and the MCD, the court sought responses of DDA and the Centre on the issues raised for further hearing on 10 February.
The court is hearing a PIL claiming that due to non- payment of salaries and arrears since 2003 to the workers of the municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs), the sanitation staff was not removing the garbage from the streets.
The strike by MCD’s sanitation workers had led to garbage being dumped right in the middle of the streets to protest against the alleged non-payment of salaries by the Delhi government.
The workers had protested outside the houses of Kejriwal and the Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel.
Deputy CM, Manish Sisodia too had complained that the MCD workers were dumping garbage outside his house.
Later on, AAP volunteers led by the PWD mnistry of Delhi government had taken to streets to clean the garbage dumped by the striking staff.