Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal created much anticipation about his press conference by tweeting earlier that he will unveil a "solution" to Delhi’s garbage crisis. His innovative solution, however, failed to match the hype.
Kejriwal announced that the Delhi government will give a loan of Rs 550 crore to the municipal corporations so that they can pay the salaries of all their workers up to 31 January. “This is a loan; Delhi government does not owe the MCDs (Municipal Corporations of Delhi) even a single rupee. The claim by the BJP is false,” he said.
Kejriwal read out a series of figures to prove that there is widespread embezzlement in the municipal corporation bodies.
“We have paid the North Delhi Municipal Corporation Rs 893 crore this year,” said Kejriwal. “That’s almost double the amount they have received the previous years. If they can pay salaries in Rs 550 crore, then why can’t they do so now? Where is the rest of the money?”
He also demanded that the CBI probe the corruption in the organisation.
Kejriwal stated that doctors have written to the government about taking over MCD’s hospitals. “I’ve asked Manish Sisodia who is both the law minister and the finance minister to see if Delhi government can take over. This will save the MCD Rs 800 crore which they spend on seven hospitals.”
He thanked the Public Works Department (PWD) officials and his own party members for helping out at times of crisis and blamed the BJP for taking advantage of the plight of the workers.
Once again blaming the BJP for creating an environment of crisis in Delhi, he stated, “This is a conspiracy by BJP to keep the Delhi government under constant crisis. It is creating such an environment because they don’t want Delhi government to do any work. It just shows the dictatorship tendencies of Modi government; see how they got President’s Rule imposed in Arunachal Pradesh. They want to create an environment here conducive to imposing President’s Rule in Delhi too.”
When quizzed about why it took the government so many days to arrive at this solution, Kejriwal said that was because they were trying to recover money from the Delhi Development Authority.
Post the press conference, Kejriwal tweeted that the Delhi government had a tough time finding the money.
It is with great difficulty that we hv been able to find this Rs 550 cr for loan. Del govt is facing Rs 3000 cr VAT shortfall(1/2)
We had to postpone some of our present commitments to next yr to manage this money(2/2)
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 3, 2016
At the press conference, he also said that there is a provision by which the Centre can dissolve the municipal corporation bodies if they fail to carry out their duties. This crisis, he said, shows that the MCD has failed in their duties. “I request the Centre to dissolve the MCD,” he said.
He then addressed the municipal workers. “I request you to call off the strike. We have to work together to take Delhi forward,” he said.