NDMC best civic body among municipalities serving less than a million population
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has ranked as the best among 111 municipal corporations catering to areas with less than one million population in the Municipal Performance Index released by the Union housing and urban affairs minister on Thursday. The North and East corporations ranked 48th and 42nd, while the South corporation got 28th position.
While the NDMC was assessed in the category of less than one million population with 60 corporations, the South, East and North corporations were part of the million-plus population category with 48 other corporations.
The municipal corporations were assessed on five parameters such as governance (20% weightage), services (30%), technology (15%), finance (20%) and planning (15%). The municipal corporations have been divided into two categories based on the population: corporations with a million-plus population and corporations with less than a million populations.
The Municipal Performance Index is an outcome of the Ease of Living Index 2020, which was also released by the housing ministry on Thursday, as it assesses the inputs or enabling factors while EoLI emphasises on outcomes of developments.
While the NDMC stood first among 60 cities in the overall ranking, it was at the fifth position in the services category. Education, health, sanitation, permits and registrations and civic infrastructure were the key categories under the services parameter. Bilaspur topped the category followed by Tirupati, Gandhi Nagar and Vellore.
NDMC, which is one of the smart cities in the country, stood at 6th position in the technology category that was assessed on the parameter of digital governance, digital access and literary.
Among the small municipal bodies, besides NDMC the other 9 top performers are Tirupati, Gandhinagar, Karnal, Salem, Tiruppur, Bilaspur, Udaipur, Jhansi and Tirunelveli.
NDMC chairman Dharmendra said, “In the field of services and governance, NDMC has taken several IT-based initiatives through technology intervention for strengthening of e-Governance and m-Governance to improve efficiency and effectiveness in providing civic services in an equitable, non-discretionary and transparent manner.”
The North and East corporations, both ruled by the BJP for the past 14 years, were ranked below Ghaziabad (20th rank), Meerut (29th rank) and Faridabad (40th rank) municipal corporations.
North Corporation mayor Jai Prakash admitted that there is a need to do a lot of work. “The assessment gives us an idea of where we stand. There is a need to do a lot of work. Our biggest problem is finances; we are working towards improving it. In this current financial year, we have tried to improve our revenue collection from house tax,” said Jai Prakash.
Among the three corporations, the South civic body fared well on parameters such as services, technology, municipal planning, finances and governance.
The North and East corporations have been facing a huge financial crunch. The financial situation of North corporation, officials say, is better than East corporation. But the east corporation’s performance is better than the North and South in some categories.
For instance, in the municipal governance category, East is ranked at 30th position while North corporation and South corporation at 48th and 44th positions respectively. Likewise, in the technology category also the East (43th rank) has fared better than the South and North corporations which stood at 45th and 47th position.
Nirmal Jain, mayor of East Corporation said, “We have been trying to do our best in the limited resources available with us. It is not just financial issues, a big problem before us is the area under our jurisdiction. We largely have slums and unauthorised colonies. We have been making efforts to take services on the digital platform, but it will take some time for it to happen.”
In terms of delivering services, South corporation was among the top five civic bodies at the fourth position.
Rajat Kathuria, director and chief executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), “The New Delhi Municipal Council is one of the richest municipal corporations. It is easier to provide essential services for the NDMC.”