Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Tuesday decided to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and request him to ensure the Delhi government does not interfere in their day-to-day work.
Delhi Mayor Kanwar Sain said that he would lead the delegation of municipal councillors to the prime minister and request him to ensure that the transfer of powers of the central government under some of the clauses of Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act should not be misused by the Delhi government.
"We have sought an appointment with the PMO. We are deeply disappointed by the attempt of the Delhi government to curtail powers of the MCD," he said.
The central government Monday said that it has decided to delegate some of its powers over the MCD to the Delhi government and that more powers could be delegated after observing how the new arrangement worked.
The Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act, 1957, gives a number of powers to the central government, most of which have been delegated to the Lt-Governor.
"There have been numerous requests from time to time that the powers of the central government ought to be delegated to the Delhi government. After careful consideration, the central government has decided to delegate its powers and many of the provisions of the DMC Act, 1957, to the Delhi government," a statement said.
The mayor, however, expressed satisfaction that Home Minister P. Chidambaram paid due heed to their memorandum which they had submitted to them regarding the power transfer and curtailed the original proposal.
Leader of House in the MCD Subhash Arya said that the MCD condemned the delegation of some of the central government powers to the Delhi government as it had potential for interference in its affairs.
However, he expressed satisfaction that the BJP was successful in shooting down the dreams of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to take over the MCD.
The Delhi government had demanded transfer of MCD powers in respect of 23 sections of the DMC Act.
"Out of the 23 sections, the central government has given powers only in respect of 12. In respect of 5 sections, the powers can be exercised only with the approval of the central government. Powers originally proposed in respect of six sections have ultimately not been given to Delhi government," Arya said.
One of the important powers which has been given to the Delhi government is regarding primary education, which is currently being handled by MCD.
The Congress government and the BJP-led MCD have always been at loggerheads. While the government accuses the MCD of "inefficiency", the civic corporation cites "step-motherly" treatment of the government in fund allocations.
The MCD came into existence April 7, 1958, by an act of parliament. It is one of three civic agencies in Delhi, the others being the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Delhi Cantonment Board.