East Delhi Mayor Neema Bhagat today called on Lt Governor Anil Baijal seeking his intervention to ensure release of funds pending to the cash-strapped EDMC from the city government. Bhagat met the LG, days after her meeting with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, during which she had claimed, "As per the finance commission recommendations, Rs 9,845 crore is due to us (EDMC) in financial year 2017-18 from the Delhi government." Kejriwal in the meeting on June 15 had alleged "massive corruption" in the functioning of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC). He had sought to know where the funds released by his government to the civic body were being spent, triggering a war of words with Bhagat. The EDMC mayor had retaliated, saying Kejriwal was "politicising" the issue instead of helping the cash-strapped civic body. She sought Baijal's intervention in the matter for timely disbursement of salaries to employees and carrying out development work in east Delhi. Bhagat, in a statement by EDMC, said the meeting with the LG was "quite positive and serious". "He has assured to look into the details of this matter," she said, adding, "The LG said he would try to get the fund released and has asked the EDMC to send a request for the same." Bhagat said the LG also asked the EDMC to look for more avenues for revenue collection so as to have a "permanent solution to the issue". The EDMC mayor, after calling on Kejriwal last week, had said, "During the meeting, Kejriwal said his government could only release more funds if the Centre gave funds to it." She had added that the chief minister "did not give any assurance on the funding issue and instead asked us to go to the Lieutenant Governor." During the meeting, the chief minister had asserted that the EDMC had many sources of income, but because of "corruption" its finances were in a mess, a charge denied by the mayor.
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