The Delhi government will soon be given the complete control over the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) that it has long been asking for.
Unlike in most other cities, the MCD so far has not been answerable to the state government. Though it receives its funds from the Delhi government, it reports to the union home ministry through the Lieutenant Governor.
The Sheila Dikshit government has frequently complained that, in the matter of improving civic amenities, it hands were badly tied because the corporation was not answerable to it. It will no longer have that excuse.
"We have sent a copy of the proposal to the Delhi government for its comments," a senior home ministry official confirmed.
The move is timed ahead of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi next year.
The new proposal, which the Delhi government is supposed to respond to, covers almost all the sections of the MCD Act, including general maintenance.
Dikshit confirmed that her government had received the note but claimed she had not looked at it yet.
“(It is) Control so that co-ordination is better. I have not looked at the note yet. It was received by the department on Saturday. All of us will take a look at it together in the Delhi Cabinet meeting on Monday. It is not to take away the powers of any elected representative," she said.
For the common man, this will mean simpler official structures. "If one has to get a road fixed, a citizen should be able to get his problem fixed from a single office. Why should he shuttle between different agencies,” said a senior government official.
At present, three agencies are responsible for the maintenance of roads in the city - MCD, PWD, NDMC and the Delhi Cantonment Board. The MCD however looks after 96 per cent of the city.