In letter, Delhi L-G asks CM to release ₹388 crore ‘due’ to city civic body
With his letter, VK Saxena has for the first time waded into the controversy over alleged shortfall of funds released to the three corporations (the bodies were unified earlier this year), over which the AAP-led Delhi government and BJP-led MCDs have been at loggerheads.
Delhi lieutenant governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has written to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, requesting him to release ₹383.74 crore reportedly due to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), adding that these funds have been “unfairly withheld” over a two-year period -- 2020-21 and 2021-22. “In the larger interest of citizens of Delhi, I request you to ensure that ₹383.74 crore is made available to the MCD at the earliest,” the communication dated September 6 said.
With his letter, Saxena has for the first time waded into the controversy over alleged shortfall of funds released to the three corporations (the bodies were unified earlier this year), over which the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government and Bharatiya Janata Party-led MCDs have been at loggerheads.
The Delhi government did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment on the matter.
In his letter, Saxena said that the funds are essentially required for the operation and development of infrastructure related to schools, hospitals, dispensaries, roads, footpaths etc which impact the daily life of the citizens of Delhi. “It need not be emphasised that the above budget estimates were voted and approved by the Delhi legislative assembly and was incumbent upon the urban development department to timely release the funds to MCD. It was not done despite several requests and due to non-release of funds the provision of various public services by MCD is being adversely impacted causing inconvenience to the citizens of Delhi,” Saxena said.
The BJP has previously alleged that ₹13,000 crore has been withheld from Delhi’s corporations by the AAP government as per the recommendation of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Delhi Finance Commission recommendations. In December 2020, all three mayors, standing committee chairpersons and key civic functionaries had carried out a dharna outside the CM’s residence to demand that funds be released. However, the AAP government has maintained that no dues were pending.