RWAs demand talks before MCD merger
“People should be made aware about the source of the problem, the budgetary resources, the human resources and other issues so that the citizenry can make an informed decision ahead of the municipal elections,” Atul Goel, Urja president said.
The government should audit the performance of all municipal departments, and review the process of allocation of grants by the state government before unifying the three civic bodies in Delhi, a confederation of residents welfare associations from across Delhi demanded on Monday.
United RWAs Joint Action (Urja) said the residents groups were opposed to the trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in 2012, and added that though reunification is a “welcome move”, the government should put all the problems and issues being faced by the corporations before the city residents before doing so.
“People should be made aware about the source of the problem, the budgetary resources, the human resources and other issues so that the citizenry can make an informed decision ahead of the municipal elections,” Atul Goel, Urja president said. He added that the members of the confederation have advocated a unified MCD or a mayor-in-council with direct elections so that accountability can be fixed.
On March 9, the Delhi state election commission (SEC), which was expected to declare the schedule for elections to the three civic bodies, put off the announcement at the last minute, citing a communication from the Central government about plans to merge the three municipal corporations.
“Though we at Urja welcome the step announced by the Central government on the unification of the trifurcated municipalities, civil society leaders have expressed concerns over the process without taking into confidence the civil society and without any concrete exchange of dialogue in public domain by the central government and its authorities. We fear that in case the anomalies are not taken into account prior to bringing the bill in Parliament the city may suffer again to the extent where the regular maintenance of the existing infrastructure is compromised,” Urja said in a statement on Monday.
BS Vohra, who heads East Delhi RWA joint front, expressed similar concerns. Vohra said that whatever mechanism is being brought through a Bill in Parliament should have participation of RWAs and civil society. “There needs to be a feedback mechanism. The administration should be accountable for service delivery to citizens,” he added.
Urja members said both the state government and the local bodies have been accusing each other of misuse of funds for the past eight years.
“It becomes difficult for the citizens to decide who should be held accountable for the lapses...,” Urja said.