Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) spokesperson and former MLA Hari Shankar Gupta has alleged that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has deprived about 14,000 retired Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) employees for the past three months. The DPCC spokesperson levelled these allegations against the AAP chief during a press conference.
Hari Shankar Gupta said that the Delhi government’s decision to stop medical allowances to pensioners is an action against poor and old people. He further warned that if the government does not release pensions for DTC employees, then the DPCC will stage a sit-in and gherao of the Delhi CM’s residence under the leadership of DPCC Presidency Chaudhary Anil Kumar.
The DPCC spokesperson has blamed Arvind Kejriwal for leaving the national capital orphan while fighting rival politics and finding political ground in other states. The Congress workers at the press conference raised slogans against the Delhi CM.
He further said it was unfortunate that the BJP and AAP were fighting for credits to inaugurate a campus in East Delhi. He said that former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit had laid the foundation for the East Delhi campus; however, the incumbent CM did not mention Congress or Sheila Dixit at the occasion.
The DPCC spokesperson asked if the retired DTC employees are not paid the due pension, how will they meet their expenses? Furthermore, he claimed that the retired employees are knocking doors of different ministers, including Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot. He further said that the Delhi government has failed to implement the new pension scheme.
Non-Payment of Salaries under AAP Govt
Delhi government has failed to pay dues to employees on multiple occasions. In April, the Delhi High Court sought a response from the Kejriwal-led government on its failure to clear the arrears of law researchers working with the High Court judges. The court was hearing a plea filed by law researchers working with the High Court judges.
The aggrieved law researchers seek implementation of the Chief Justice of the Delhi Court’s orders passed on August 24, 2018, and September 3, 2019. The remuneration for the law researchers was initially fixed at Rs 25,000, which was later enhanced to Rs 35,000 by the order passed on September 18, 2017. The remuneration was further enhanced to Rs 50,000 vide order dated August 24, 2018, and to Rs 65,000 vide order dated September 3, 2019.
The court instructed the Delhi government’s counsel to take instructions in the matter and “place on record the reasons as to why sanction has not been issued in respect to the arrears liable to be paid to Law Researchers who were discharging their duties at the relevant point of time.”
Avoided Payment for Sardar Patel Covid Centre
On March 24, the Delhi High Court said it is a “very sorry state of affairs” that the Delhi government is “trying to avoid their responsibility for making payments towards the construction of the largest COVID care facility with 10,000 beds.”
The court observed, “Even after two years of successful completion of the work, the petitioner’s case for issuance of work orders has not seen the light of the day, and the respondents are passing buck from one Department to another.”
The court added, “Inspite of having undertaken the work of providing the services of Air conditioning, donning and doffing of the roof, water proofing of the roof, electricals to the entire system, infrastructure for the blood banks for the COVID care facility, the respondents have till date failed to even issue the work order to the petitioner for the work undertaken by it in construction of the so-called largest COVID care facility during such testing times.”
Doctors in Delhi go on strike over unpaid dues
Doctors in Delhi working at Rajan Babu and Hindu Rao hospitals went on strike on February 6 over unpaid dues and other long-standing issues. Earlier, doctors at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) Kasturba Hospital had issued a strike warning over pending salaries since October 2022. “We also feel humiliation, while asking parents and friends for money, despite working in a reputed hospital which is supposed to pay for work we do here. Many of us are sole earners in our families with many dependents,” said the letters.
Further, they added that they were losing interest and fined for the negative balance due to low bank balances. Along with the delayed salary, anxiety over job insecurity also took a toll, as many were on 44-day contracts. “We live in fear of losing our job as contract hoc culture is intentionally designed to deprive workers of benefits that come with regular/permanent employment,” the letter added.
Delhi University Teachers’ Association
In September 2022, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) urged the Government of India to take over colleges run by the Delhi government, claiming that teachers were not getting proper salaries due to budget cuts while political activists were appointed heads of governing bodies. DUTA chief AK Bhagi also claimed that teachers had even held demonstrations outside Chief Minister Kejriwal’s house but to no avail.
“Due to fund deficit, pay cut of teachers is happening since last two yrs in 12 colleges under Delhi government. We’ve held demonstrations outside CM’s house, gone to Deputy CM, nobody listened to us. We want the Central govt to take these colleges under its wings,” Bhagi said. The teachers’ body took a strong stance after the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College told staff members that a part of their salaries was being withheld due to fund-crunch.
“This problem has been going on for 5 years, earlier funds were delayed, but funds are being cut for the last two years. At present, there is a deficit of about 85 to 90 crores in 12 colleges funded by the Delhi government,” said Bhagi.