East Delhi sanitation workers continued their strike today despite the AAP government releasing Rs 119 crore for disbursal of their salaries, posing serious health and hygiene threats to the people due to tons of garbage lying in residential areas for five days now.
After meeting a delegation of sanitation workers, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters that Rs 119 crore has been provided to East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) for providing salaries.
He took to Twitter to claimed the AAP government has given to the MCDs more fund than any other government.
“Where is all this money going? Who is bungling all the money?” he said in the tweet posting details of funds allocated to the civic bodies in the past five years.
The Deputy CM also met the EDMC commissioner, mayor, and representatives of RWAs to discuss the situation.
“Delhi government can dispose off the garbage by deploying PWD trucks if the RWAs extend their help in it,” he said.
The sanitation workers continued their strike and protested outside EDMC headquarters in Patparganj by dumping garbage in front of the camp office of AAP MLA from Gandhi Nagar Anil Kumar Bajpai.
Under the banner of MCD Swachhata Karmchari Union, they have decided to continue their strike till a “permanent solution” for timely payment of their salaries is found by the civic body and Delhi government.
“Deputy CM Manish Sisodia has today tried to cheat the sanitation workers. The government has conspired to end the strike by payment of just one month’s salary,” said the union’s president Sanjay Gehlot.
He claimed the sanitation workers have not been paid salaries for three months.
However, a senior municipal corporation official said salaries for only two months were due.
Earlier, in a meeting with the mayor and the commissioner of EDMC, sanitation workers unions left notes that they would resume duty from tonight. But municipal corporation officials said the work was not resumed because the sanitation workers wanted to discuss the matter further.
“We will not obey instructions of the municipal officials and Delhi government till sanitation workers get salaries in their accounts. Till a permanent solution to the problem of East MCD is found the strike will continue,” Gehlot said.
Mayor Satya Sharma said that the Rs 119 crore received from the Delhi government has bee used up in paying salaries of November and December and there is no more fund to meet their other demands.
“They are making demand for payment of arrears also. But all the money received from the Delhi government has been used up in paying salaries of November and December months,” he said.
A section of sanitation workers wants to resume work but they are not doing so under “pressure” from their colleagues who want to continue it for their other demands, she said.
There are around 17,000 sanitation workers in EDMC, including permanent and contractual ones, who went on strike on January 5, in support of their demands primarily payment of pending salaries and arrear amounts.