Twelve Delhi University (DU) colleges absolutely funded by the Delhi authorities are struggling to pay salaries to educating and non-teaching staff, and electrical energy and different bills, for the last three months due to the scarcity of funds.
Officials at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College (DDU) said their cellphone and web connections have been disconnected as they may not pay the dues for 4 months.
While a few of these colleges have paid salaries to their educating staff for the month of May by diverting funds from different accounts, majority of them are but to pay salaries for the last three months.
Although the Delhi authorities said it has launched funds for salaries, officers at these colleges said the cash is “insufficient”.
A senior official in the federal government’s finance division said there’s a main scarcity of funds due to the pandemic.
“Revenues have dropped. The Capital recorded revenue collections of less than 40% for the first four months of the financial year 2020-21 compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Till June, the government was facing difficulties even in paying salaries of employees. Large portions of funds were utilised in Covid management. The government has sought financial assistance of Rs 5,000 crore from the Centre but it is yet to receive any amount,” the official quoted above said.
Hem Chand Jain, principal of DDU, said their cellphone and web connections have been disconnected and electrical energy connection shall be snapped soon.
“The college has Rs 17.6 crore deficit of which Rs 8 crore is required for the payment of salaries. The Delhi government has already paid Rs 2.3 crore twice in March and April but it was not sufficient. Our monthly expenditure on salary payment is Rs 2.7 crore. We could not pay salaries to our teaching and non-teaching staff since May. How can the government think we would be able to meet all expenditures with such an insufficient fund?” he said.
Jain said the school couldn’t pay electrical energy bills, property tax and different pending expenditures since April. “We are getting repeated calls from the electricity board. We could not pay the electricity bill for the last four months and now we have to pay Rs 40 lakh together. We are soon going to lose the connection if the amount is not paid at the earliest. It will be a big issue since we have staff and some international students living at the campus,” he said.
Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia said, “We have already released the salary funds but the government is also short of funds.”
The same state of affairs prevails in different 11 colleges, together with Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Shaheed Rajguru College for Applied Sciences for Women, Maharaja Agrasen College and Acharya Narendra Dev College. There are round 1,200 educating and 900 non-teaching staff members employed on a everlasting foundation in these colleges, apart from the contractual staff.
DU’s Dean of Colleges Balaram Pani said the college had written to the Delhi authorities a number of times in the last three months over the difficulty. “In April, the colleges had a backlog of previous months. The funds received were also insufficient. If the college required Rs 7 crore, only Rs 2 crore was transferred to them. How is it even possible for the colleges to function in such circumstances,” he said.
Ravi Toteja, principal of Acharya Narendra Dev College, said, “We could not pay salaries to our teaching and non-teaching staff members since April. We are yet to pay our electricity and other bills. Our connection can be disconnected anytime soon.”
Beside salaries and bills, these colleges are struggling to preserve infrastructure and different services. Payal Mago, principal of Shaheed Rajguru College for Applied Sciences for Women, said, “The college has a sewage treatment plant at its campus. Due to the non-payment of salaries, the PWD removed the technician looking after the plant and now sewer water is flowing all over the campus. But we do not have funds to fix it.” The faculty paid electrical energy bills until last month, diverting funds from college students’ funds.
DU Teachers’ Association president Rajib Ray said, “It’s absolutely inhuman that our colleagues working in these colleges are unpaid for the last three months. The government should immediately release all pending funds.”