With the Delhi municipal election approaching, the three BJP-ruled municipal bodies and the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government are leaving no stone unturned in inaugurating projects.
The three civic bodies — North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) — and the Delhi government have gone on an inauguration spree.
Two weeks ago, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation inaugurated four multi-level underground parking lots, including two at Kalkaji and Rajouri, which are not yet operational. The Kalkaji parking is locked and civic work remains incomplete. The civic body is yet to deploy staff and rectify structural problems.
The corporation has also laid the foundation of community halls and schools, and announced easing of trade licences.
The Delhi government, too, has inaugurated several projects in the last few days, such as sewer lines, power substations and night shelters.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia have ensured their presence at the opening functions for the projects.
The municipal election is about a month away but the date has not yet been announced.
While the BJP is up against a decade-long anti-incumbency, the municipal election will be first full-fledged municipal election test for the Aam Aadmi Party after its impressive debut in the by-elections last year, in which it won five of the 12 municipal seats that went to polls.
The parties deny they are hoping to benefit from the inaugurations and the announcements.
The BJP’s Subhash Arya, leader of the house, South Corporation, says, “The election code of conduct is likely to be implemented from March 15, and then projects will be stuck in a limbo. To avoid delay, we are inaugurating them now. The pending works will be completed in a month’s time.”
Delhi government officials maintain that the projects have been in the pipeline for long but were delayed due to lack of approval from former lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung.