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No salary for months, Delhi municipal staff’s struggles have multiplied in Covid lockdown

They include frontline staff such as doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, sanitation workers, para-medical staff, engineering staff and teachers among others. 

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New Delhi: While Municipal Corporation zones across Delhi are known to grapple with fund shortages, they have now not paid their staff, a majority of whom are at the frontline in the Covid-19 fight, for months.

The salaries of staff at the North, South and East MCDs have been delayed for months. They include doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, sanitation workers, para-medical staff, engineering staff and teachers among others.

In the North Delhi MCD alone, nearly 58,000 employees and 24,000 pensioners have not received their salaries and pensions since January this year. Only safai karamcharis were paid in February but even they haven’t received their salaries since.

Their cause has now been taken up by the leader of opposition in the Delhi Assembly, the BJP’s Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, who has written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, urging him to release the grant-in-aid and transfer duty for the first quarter of the 2020-2021 financial year.

In his letter on Wednesday, Bidhuri said he had taken up the matter in person with the CM twice earlier and also over video conference a few days ago but no action has been taken.

He urged the Delhi government to immediately release the first instalment and pointed out that employees other than those at the Covid-19 frontlines have also been impacted. “The daily wager employees who are at the lowest rung of the hierarchy have not been paid for the last two months,” states the letter.

“Some are not even able to manage their basic supplies or run their kitchen as the pressure of them is anyway a lot due to their duty during the lockdown,” Bidhuri told ThePrint.

Bidhuri is also set to meet Delhi LG Anil Baijal today to protest the Delhi government’s “false claims of having cleared all financial due to MCDs” and further urge him to advise that authorities release funds without any further delay.

Also read: No gadgets, no studies: What online classes mean for 16 lakh poor students in Delhi schools

Employees struggle under Covid-19 lockdown

President of the Sanitation Workers’ Union Vijendra Bagdi told ThePrint that even though sanitation workers have been working round-the-clock to ensure others remain secure during the epidemic, they weren’t getting even their basic pay, let alone incentive.

Some, ThePrint learnt, have been borrowing money from their extended families to meet their household needs.  One such worker, a resident of Jahangirpuri, requesting anonymity, said, “Main apne bachhon ko kya khaane ko doon, baaki sab baad mein. Poora din kaam par hota hoon, ghar jaaon toh kya jawab doon (Everything else aside, how do I provide food for my children? The whole day I am at work, what do I tell them once I return home).”

Among those affected have been teachers employed with the north civic body.

They have been on duty at food distribution centres for the past few weeks.

 A 40-year-old teacher and resident of Narela told ThePrint that he is the only earning member of his family and that he doesn’t know how he will manage from next month.

“It is not like I don’t want to help. This is a time for all of us to come together but how do I help when I am not in a position to make my own ends meet beyond a point,” he said.

The MCD teachers association chief Ramesh Solanki had also taken up the matter in a letter addressed to Arvind Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia. “While teachers of east and south MCD schools have received their salaries, those working in north MCD schools are not being paid,” he wrote adding they were risking their own lives to help others by distributing cooked food amid the lockdown.

North Delhi MC commissioner Varsha Joshi said, “All our workers are on the field despite the problems they are facing. The team unity as they know I give them the salary instantly the moment I receive it.”

Despite repeated efforts, there was no response from the AAP government.

Also read: Delhi Jal Board contractor commits suicide, blames AAP MLA for ‘extortion’

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  1. I think that is the reason why they reach and charge heavily almost 20-40 thousand per floor as per area if area is under 100 yards.
    The mcd people says if you can not pay (donation) then you need to pay 50k per floor and a case will be filed to court. And a normal people like us afraid and pay but just think there are people who are pushing their whole life noney to conatruct his home and still paying extra to those idiot guys.
    Dear government please do something those people..

  2. The pension is also not being released for last 5-6 months. Just think about old people whose only source of income is their pension and that too is not being given on time. How would they manage to meet their daily needs in their late eighties. Sorry state of affair!

  3. Govt of India has to play a big role in this
    Please don’t make it Political issue
    Solve the problem & pay into their account all unpaid wages till April 2020 in this pandemic

    Please PM, President & Home Minister Sir fund their wages into their Bank Accounts as soon as possible…. Jai Hind….

  4. How much is due from Delhi Govt to MCD? if salaries have not been paid since February 2020 how come there is no agitation by employees or the bjp?
    How much has goi given Delhi Govt for fighting Corona? How much bjp mla ‘s expect goi to release to Delhi Govt?

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