To counter Sheila Dikshit government's plan of taking control of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Mayor Kanwar Sain on Monday expressed the civic body's desire to take over the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), the city water board that is under Delhi government's jurisdiction.
"The chief minister has been making statements regarding the functioning of the MCD and, on numerous occasions, has also indicated that MCD should be brought under the control of Delhi Government," Sain said.
"She is the chairperson of DJB but under her own aegis such departments are working inefficiently. Delhi government should hand over DJB back to us for better functioning."
The MCD is responsible for the upkeep of 98 per cent of Delhi and is the second largest municipal corporation after Tokyo. It is responsible for maintaining roads, parks, hospitals, primary schools and providing sanitation services.
The DJB provides water supply to the entire city and is responsible for maintaining sewerage lines.
According to the Mayor, MCD maintains storm water drains that merge into main sewer lines that are controlled by another agency - the jal board.
"We are responsible for cleaning storm water drains but the work is half done if we don't have control over the sewerage system," he said. The mayor said he would draw up a concrete plan and ensure all problems related to water and sewers are solved quicker.
"Since most of the essential services are being maintained and controlled by MCD, it will be easier for us to coordinate the work of DJB if it is under our direct control," Sain said.
According to the Mayor, legal opinion will be sought to get DJB back under MCD's control. He has also written a letter to the chief minister asking her to hand over DJB.
"All residents at some point or the other would have come in contact with DJB and would have realized how difficult it is to get any work done through that body," the Mayor said. "Whether it is related to supply of water, the quality of water or maintenance of sewers under the control of DJB, not one issue has been resolved in the last decade or so."
Opposition leader of the MCD Jai Kishan Sharma said the entire move was political.
"DJB was transferred to Delhi government under the BJP's rule so how come they want it back now. They are unable to maintain the MCD itself, how will they look after DJB? They are merely trying to politicise the matter," Sharma said.