The special session of the Delhi Assembly on Monday passed the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2007 paving the way for the creation of at least 272 municipal wards for the city.
The passage of the bill, however, led to fears that the civic polls, due in the last week of March would be delayed. BJP MLA Saheb Singh Chauhan moved an amendment saying that the elections should be held before April 7. The government did not agree to the amendment. NCP’s Ramvir Singh Bidhuri too moved an amendment demanding a division of MCD into smaller units. This amendment too was not accepted.
Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely spoke on the need for delimitation of the municipal wards saying that civic governance would become better and manageable with the move. Urban Development Minister AK Walia said the bill would take civic governance to the grassroots level.
The bill was passed by a voice vote amidst protest by the opposition BJP and their walkout. The bill said the ceiling of 134 was fixed in 1993 and since then there has been a significant increase in the population. The population in the corporation area rose from 90.35 lakhs in 1991 to 133.63 lakhs in 2001. The average population of per ward which was 67 thousand as per the 1991 census, comes to one lakh as per the 2001 census.
The bill says that 272 wards would be created at present. However, there is scope for taking this figure to 300 with an increase in population of the city.