New Delhi, October 8: As the sanitation workers’ protest in East Delhi enters the 27th day on Monday, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it can’t give funds to East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) for payment of salaries to sanitation workers. The top Court has asked the Centre to file an affidavit stating the same. Meanwhile, the Delhi government informed the Supreme Court that it has released Rs 500 crore to the civic body earlier this month.
The East Delhi Municipal Corporation sanitation workers are on a strike since September 12 over the long-pending demands including non-payment of salaries, health benefits, clearance of dues and regularisation of sanitation workers who have been inducted on a temporary basis till 2017. In the last week, the on workers staged a protest near the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to press for their demands, following which the AAP government charged the BJP with playing “dirty politics”. EDMC Sanitation Workers Stage Protest Near Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's Residence
In September, EDMC mayor Bipin Bihari blamed the AAP government for the chaos and said the employees could not be paid because the Delhi government did not release funds. On October 3, the Delhi government had told Court that it would release Rs 500 crore within two days to civic bodies, which will help resolve the crisis that has arisen due to the ongoing strike by sanitation workers of EDMC. The workers are protesting over regular payment of salaries and regularisation of workers.
On the same day, a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh, appearing for the Centre and Delhi Lieutenant Governor, as to whether they could also release a similar amount to overcome the crisis.
In the wake of the strike, garbage piled up as agitating employees have not been not picking up garbage from neighbourhoods to protest the non-payment of salaries and pending arrears. Amid the strike, residents in East Delhi have been dealing with piles of garbage on roads. A local resident was quoted by ANI saying, "There are piles of garbage everywhere. Diseases are spreading. When we go to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials, they say they are on strike as they are not getting their salaries."