NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Wednesday agreed to release Rs 500 crore to municipal corporations to be used to pay off pending salaries to sanitation workers. The workers have been on strike since September 12 over non-payment of wages.
The Supreme Court asked the Centre if it can contribute an equal share of amount in favour of the municipal corporations.
Earlier in September, the Delhi HC had pulled up the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi 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".
Hearing a batch of writ petitions seeking adequate funds to the three municipal corporations to enable their proper functioning, HC had said: "You (Delhi government) could have said let the payments be made till the legal issues are settled. But you want your pound of flesh."
"The poor employees are working unpaid without bread and butter as the politicians fight among themselves. Our concern is for the poor workers," the court had said.
The HC had not given any directions to the AAP government then and had listed the matter for hearing on October 25 as the Supreme Court is hearing the Delhi government's appeal against the HC's April 16 and May 21 orders over implementation of the fourth DFC recommendations.