The financial woes of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) seem to be an unending problem. Just before the Assembly elections, funding of the MCD projects could turn into a political tug-of-war. The MCD has been run by the BJP for more than 12 years.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the BJP have been in a perpetual war of words over delay in projects and non-release of funds for the MCD. As many as 100 major projects have been stuck due to fund crisis, including important projects, ranging from education to health and road development.
Bhupendra Gupta, standing committee chairman of South MCD, said, “All work is shut at this time because every project requires funds and the Delhi government has not given us required funds in any plan. The government wanted to destabilise the municipal corporation.”
“We have to get new and required equipment for our hospitals, some more benches for children to sit in schools, and have to construct roads in Delhi. Disabled persons and widows were to be issued pensions. But everything has stopped. The situation is worst for the North MCD because the fund that it had to receive from the Delhi government has now been diverted to the East MCD,” Gupta added.
Mayor Avtar Singh of North MCD said, “Our global share has been reduced from 17.5 per cent to 12 per cent now, and in that, we have not been given any fixed money. Most of the employees’ salary is delayed by two to three months. We don’t even have funds to buy medicines in Hindu Rao Hospital. More than 30,000 children sit on the ground in North MCD schools. The condition of schools and hospitals is getting worst every day because there are no funds for repair.”
“I would not like to say anything on politics but it has been learned that the global share of South MCD has been reduced and even after that the civic body has not got the full fund from the Delhi government, it is not a good thing,” said Urban Development Ministry secretary Durga Shankar Mishra.
For the last 20 days, the cleaners have been sitting outside the MCD headquarters in protest.
One of the sweepers, Virendra Singh, with the municipal corporation said, “We have been working in the municipal corporation for 30 years. The biggest responsibility of Swachh Bharat is on our shoulders but in the municipal corporation, we get a second class treatment. Even after working our whole life, we remain temporary. The pension has been pending with the civic body for years now. Our life is getting spoiled in the quarrel between the two governments.”
Similarly, the East MCD had also protested in the past against the contractors and for their due payment.