NEW DELHI -- In the wake of garbage crisis due to strike by sanitation workers, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today hit out at the BJP-run civic bodies, accusing them of being saddled with "grave corruption", even as the AAP government announced a fresh fund of ₹ 119 crore to the EDMC.
In a press conference held at his official residence, the senior AAP leader claimed that "enough funds have been given to the municipal bodies, but one doesn't know where that money is being flushed out."
"The MCD has been telling that Delhi government has not given them funds. So, I am presenting some of the figures in this regard. In 2012-13, ₹ 399 crore was given as fund, in 2013-14 ₹ 416 crore and in 2014-15 it was ₹ 441 crore.
"Then our government came, and we released ₹ 702 crore under non-plan head, and in 2016-17 so far, we have released ₹ 609 crore. Also, till 2015 these funds were released with ₹ 60-70 crore of loan adjustment. But, we gave them (MCD) the funds without such deductions. So, we want to ask, where did that money go," he said.
"Is there a corruption pipeline opened by the civic bodies, if these funds were not used," he alleged.
"Besides, we have, also released a fund of ₹ 119 crore to the EDMC under the non-plan head, and it should duly be used for payment of salaries. The fund was released yesterday and it should reach the civic body soon," Sisodia told reporters.
The indefinite strike by the sanitation workers of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, which entered its third day today, has left the trans-Yamuna region reeling under a garbage crisis, with waste dumped in the open in several areas, from Laxmi Nagar to Patparganj.
The APP-MCD politics heats up at a time when municipal polls are due this year, and Sisodia said, "People will teach them (BJP-led MCD) lessons in the elections. From three seats (in Delhi Assembly polls) they would be wiped out completely this time."
The AAP leader also took the opportunity to reach out to the sanitation workers, saying, "They were being exploited by the MCD and that they should expose these civic bodies."
Sisodia also said as per the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission, "the civic bodies should get about ₹ 3,552 crore from the Centre.
"Now, the government at the Centre and at the municipal level is of the BJP, then why are they (MCD) not getting funds? Also, the civic bodies have to collect tax from DDA, that has also not happened," he said.
"The MCD instead of collecting taxes properly is busy indulging in corruption in sanctioning building plans in unauthorised colonies. If they collect these taxes properly, they can pay for the salaries of these workers, from even 10 per cent of that collection," Sisodia alleged.
The erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was trifurcated in 2012 into North Corporation, South Corporation and East Corporation.
"MCD was getting far less fund from earlier dispensations before our government came, and now MCD is complaining that they are not getting enough money to pay for the salaries," Sisodia said.
The Deputy Chief Minister also alleged that the government has time and again sought "audited balance sheet" from the civic bodies, but they have never provided it.
"The workers were to be given salaries by now as per the court ruling, and what the MCD has been doing amounts to contempt of court. But, still no action," he said.
"We even went out of way, and gave them MRF (Municipal Reform Fund) last year. But, they say, no fund given. Where is the money going," he asked.
"EDMC is a politically elected body and now they are not able to do political management, they are a complete failure and exploiting sanitation workers, and the latter must expose the BJP-ruled civic bodies as to what they have been doing with these funds," Sisodia said.
Meanwhile, the sanitation strike crisis deepened today with the president of Delhi unit of MCD Swachhata Karmchari Union Sanjay Gehlot saying, "We are yet to be paid our three months' salary (October-December), DA, bonus due to which we aren't able to pay school fees of children and marriages have been postponed. We will continue with the strike, until our demands our met."
"If our demands are not met, we will take sterner stand from Monday," he said and claimed that 17,000 sanitation workers are participating in the strike.
East Delhi generates a large quantity of garbage with Ghazipur landfill site receiving on an average 2,500 tonnes of waste daily.
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