×

India

Cabinet Nod To MCD Unification Plan, Bill To Be Tabled Next Week; AAP Cries Foul

Targeting the Centre, AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said the move was aimed purposely delaying the pending MCD elections as the BJP fears losing these polls.

New Delhi: Police stand guard near the Parliament House during COVID-19 weekend curfew in New Delhi, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. More than 400 Parliament staff tested positive for the COVID-19, weeks ahead of the Union Budget session. (PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan)

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday cleared a proposal to integrate the three municipal corporations of Delhi. A bill in this regard will be introduced next week in the ongoing session of Parliament.

Targeting the Centre, AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said the move was aimed at purposely delaying the pending MCD elections as the BJP fears losing these polls. “Unification of 3 MCDs could have been done long back and could have been done anytime. This is simply a ploy to delay the pending elections of MCD. BJP is scared of losing MCD elections in Delhi,” he said.

The national capital has five local bodies namely the North, East and South Delhi municipal corporations, the Delhi Cantonment Board and the New Delhi Municipal Council.

The majority of Delhi’s area is covered by the North, South and East Delhi corporations. These three corporations were known as a single entity as Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) before 2012. The then Sheila Dixit government in 2012 decided to trifurcate the MCD.

ALSO READ: MCD Polls: Delhi Municipal Body’s Budget Bone Of Contention Between AAP, BJP

The move was opposed by the RWAs, saying it had led to unequal distribution of funds and mismanagement as there was no accountability.

With the Centre planning to bring the bill for the unification, the Resident Welfare Associations in Delhi called for an audit of the performance of municipal departments and more involvement of civil society in the unification process.

In a letter to Delhi Lt Governor Ani Baijal on Monday, the United Resident Joint Action of Delhi (URJA) welcomed the announcement of unification of the three municipalities, but expressed concerns over the methodology “with which the process of unification of municipality is undergoing”.

“The municipal corporation was trifurcated in 2012 without any consultation from civil societies, including Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs). There is no accountability in the municipal cooperations. We are short of funds and there is no trust in the bodies. MCDs’ performance should be audited to understand the problem and people should be apprised of the issues,” URJA president Atul Goel told PTI.

“The city may suffer again as the process of unification is being carried out without taking into confidence the civil society and without any concrete exchange of dialogue in the public domain by the central government and its authorities,” he alleged.

(With PTI inputs)