Due to a shortage of funds, many DU colleges that are fully funded by the Delhi government are unable to pay staff salaries, electricity and other bills in the last three months.
In Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College (DDU), the phone and internet connection services have been disabled due to all the pending bills from the last four months. Some of the colleges have been able to pay salaries by covering the shortage of funds by diverting funds from other accounts for the month of May, but a majority of colleges have not paid salaries from last three months. Although the Delhi Government has said that they have released enough funds for salaries but officials of various colleges are still pointing to insufficient or shortage of funds.
While on the other hand, a senior official from the Delhi Government has said that there is a major shortage of funds, owing to the ongoing pandemic. It has been noted that there is a dip in the revenues. The revenue collections were of less than 40% in Delhi, in the first four months (April to July) due to which the government has been unable to pay its own employees. The major chunk of the fund has been utilised in COVID management but to deal with this problem of shortage of funds, the Delhi government has been promised of financial assistance from the central government of Rs. 5,000 crores but this amount is yet to be given.
The principal of DDU, Mr Hem Chand Jain, informed that the college has a deficit of Rs. 17.6 crores out of which 8 crores stands still against the salary account. The salary expense for one month is Rs. 2.7 crores for both teaching and non-teaching staff, while the Delhi government has only credited Rs. 2.3 crores in March and April. This shortage of funds has made it hard for ends to meet. The electricity bill is also pending and the electricity board has been giving notices every day. The bill has now reached up to Rs. 40 lakhs and if not paid, the services will be terminated. It will create a lot of difficulty for teachers and the international students residing on campus.
A similar situation is prevailing in 11 other colleges including Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Shaheed Rajguru College for Applied Sciences for Women, Maharaja Agrasen College and Acharya Narendra Dev College. Other than the Adhoc contractual staff, there are almost 1,200 teaching and 900 non-teaching members employed on a permanent basis. The DU’s Dean of Colleges also pointed out that the funds are being released but they are insufficient to wholly meet any expense. If Rs. 7 crore is needed then on Rs. 2 crores is being transferred.
Bills and salaries are not the only problems, colleges are also facing difficulties in maintaining their infrastructure. In Shaheed Rajguru College for Applied Sciences For Women, there is a sewage treatment plant on the campus and due to the non-payment of salaries, PWD removed its technician leading to problems such as the sewer water flowing all over the campus. The college does not have enough funds to fix the issue. Even the electricity bill of the college has been paid by diverting money from the fund set up for students.