MCD gets Rs 551 crore loan from AAP government but with a rider

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

In an attempt to end the MCD impasse in the capital that has led to garbage pile on the roads and affecting health  of the citizens , the AAP government announced Rs 551 crore loan to the cash-strapped municipal corporations. But the announcement ironically comes with a rider – “no fresh recruitment” of sanitation workers and “discontinuation” of temporary employees within a year, according to an order issued by the AAP dispensation.

“There will be no fresh recruitments particularly group IV employees viz., safai karamcharis, beldars and fresh regularisation. The safai karamcharis and beldars engaged on temporary basis willl be discontinued in a phased-manner within a year,” the order says.

It may be recalled that the order was issued by the Urban Development Department of the city government on February 4. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had made an announcement offering the Rs 551-crore loan to two civic bodies on February 3. The municipal corporations will hence  reassess all their schemes and not increase the scope of the existing ones, the conditions say and “no new scheme to be launched without approval of government of Delhi.”

“Increase revenue through improved property tax coverage, bring left-out properties under the property tax net, increase revenue from advertisement, parking, remunerative projects,” it adds. The order also lays down that the Municipal Valuation Committee report shall be implemented in the next two months and the city government apprised of the same.

Apart from the loan of Rs 551 crore, the Kejriwal government has also released  a sum of Rs 142 crore to the North Delhi Municipal corporation as sought by it by way of stamp duty to resolve the long standing salary crisis that had angered the workers and forced them to  take to strike to press their demands. The sanitation workers of the three civic bodies had recently agreed before the Delhi High Court to call off their strike and resume work immediately after the three BJP-ruled corporations said they had released their wages, though the two camps have failed to reach any resolution.

Even as BMS-affiliated unions decided to end their participation in the stir, unions associated with Swatantra Mazdoor Vikas Sanyukt Morcha continued their strike and held protest in front of AAP minister Kapil Mishra’s residence in east Delhi. The erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was trifurcated into – North, South and East municipal corporations – in 2012.