In an effort to give an impetus to its earlier plan of restructuring the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit formed a new committee on Tuesday.
Though several committees have been formed in the past to study the proposal to restructure and divide the civic body for ease of administration, this is probably the first time that a political committee has been formed by the city government.
To be headed by finance and urban development minister Ashok Kumar Walia, the committee includes public works department and development minister Rajkumar Chauhan, education and transport minister Arvinder Singh and senior Bhartiya Janata Party leaders Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Jagdish Mukhi.
Dikshit said the committee would go through the recommendations made by previous committees such as Virendra Prakash Committee, Balkrishnan Committee, Ashok Pradhan committee, Deep Bandhu committee and then come up with its recommendations.
"The committee has recommendation papers of all previous committees available with them. I don't think they should take more than 15-20 days to come up with its recommendations," Dikshit said.
Interestingly, keeping its politically-sensitive nature in mind — Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections are due in Delhi in February 2012 — Dikshit also has two senior BJP leaders in the committee.
According to officials present at the Cabinet meeting on Monday, the ministers were critical of the MCD's functioning and expressed their unhappiness over the poor civic conditions in Delhi.
Favouring smaller Corporations, the ministers asked Dikshit to study the possibility of restructuring the MCD, which was accepted.
"We are looking at a more efficiently-run MCD. About 97% areas in the city are under the MCD. It is not just capable of carrying the burden. Its funds are in a mess. The entire system is run on adhoc-ism," Dikshit said.
Delhi BJP President Vijendra Gupta, however, criticised the move, saying the ruling party has floated the idea only to get "political mileage".
"Just a year is left for MCD polls. Why they have come up with this idea now is quite evident. The announcement raises suspicion," Gupta said.