New Delhi: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday announced that the government had approved an advance sum of Rs 119 crore to East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) after its employees went on strike for non-payment of salaries.
Alleging the EDMC was wasting the money in corruption, he urged the corporation to "strictly" use the amount to pay the pending salaries of its employees.
"This amount of Rs 119 crore was actually meant to be released only after the finalisation of the Revised Estimates a month later. But the government decided to transfer it in advance given the non-payment of salaries to the sanitation workers by the East MCD," said Mr Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio.
He added that the Delhi government provided almost double the amount under the non-planned head to the East MCD for financial year 2015-16 in comparison to previous years.
"The EDMC received Rs 399 crore in 2012-2013, Rs 416 crore in 2013-2014 and Rs 441 crore in 2014-2015 from the Delhi government. We increased the amount to Rs 702 crore in 2015-2016 and have already released Rs 609 crore in this financial year (2016-2017).
"Despite this significant increase in the allocated funds, why are the employees not being paid the salaries. If they were managing in Rs 300-400 crore earlier, how is it possible that they are not able to manage in Rs 700 crore. Where is the money going?" he asked, and claimed that the MCDs have become "centres of financial mismanagement".
More than 25,000 municipal employees of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation went on a strike on Thursday over non-payment of salaries for last two months, bringing the services to a standstill.
Mr Sisodia said the MCD had committed a contempt of court by disobeying the Delhi High Court order that salaries to all its employees, including sanitation workers, should be paid by 7th of every month.
He added that it was "criminal negligence" on the part of East MCD not to pay the salaries of its employees for two months and causing inconvenience to the residents by not doing its mandatory duty of maintaining cleanliness.
This is the third continuous year, when the municipal workers have gone on a strike due to non-payment of salaries.