NEW DELHI: The Central government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it cannot disburse funds for the payment of salaries to sanitation workers who are on strike. The Centre told SC that it cannot give funds to East Delhi Municipal Corporation. The apex court has asked the Centre to file an affidavit stating the same.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government told the SC that it has released Rs 500 crore to the civic body. During the last hearing, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi had said that it would release Rs 500 crore within two days to civic bodies.
Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government, had told the bench that they would release Rs 500 crore without prejudice to their rights and contentions in the matters relating to any disputes and differences between them and the Centre or the Lieutenant Governor.
The Supreme Court had then asked the Centre if it can contribute an equal share of amount in favour of the municipal corporations.
he lawyers appearing for the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and North Delhi Municipal Corporation had also told the bench that they should also get money which was to be released by Delhi government.
During the hearing, Mehra told the bench that in 2016-17, Delhi government had given over Rs 1.08 lakh crore to the Centre while the Central government had given only Rs 325 crore to them.
Chief Minister Kejriwal had earlier expressed concern over the situation of sanitation in east Delhi. He had alleged the BJP-led municipal corporations are not concerned about their basic duties.
Kejriwal said the AAP government has released Rs 770 crore to East MCD so far this year, but the civic body was unable to pay salaries to sanitation workers.
Earlier in September, the Delhi HC had pulled up the AAP government for not disbursing funds for the salaries as per the recommendations of the fourth Delhi Finance Commission (DFC). The HC had said that poor workers were suffering "as politicians were fighting among themselves" for their "pound of flesh".