Four AAP MLAs, other leaders booked after protest at Civic Centre
Four AAP MLAs and other party leaders were booked under various IPC sections after the police alleged that they manhandled a senior police officer and nine other personnel, including women constables, during a protest organised at the Civic Centre in central Delhi.
The Aam Aadmi Party described the police action as a conspiracy.
Deputy commissioner of police (central) Sanjay Bhatia said nearly 1,500 protesters led by Durgesh Pathak, AAP’s MCD incharge, and party MLAs assaulted ACP Anil Kumar and other police personnel when they were controlling the crowd.
Besides Pathak, AAP legislators from Kondli, Mangolpuri, Model Town and Trilokpuri -- Kuldeep Monu, Rakhi Bidlan, Akhilesh Tripathi, and Rohit Mahliyan – and other organisers, have been named in the FIR, said DCP Bhatia.
Pathak said, “The AAP was protesting against privatisation of sanitisation in Delhi by the SDMC. It was to save thousands of sanitation workers from being exploited by private players. But unfortunately, the BJP unleashed it’s Delhi Police against us. But we will continue our fight against what is wrong. We won’t be bogged by such intimidation tactics,” said Pathak.
Earlier, AAP leaders and councillors staged a massive protest at the Civic Centre, headquarters of north and south civic bodies, to oppose a proposal by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to privatise some of its obligatory services such as sweeping and sanitation in Kakrola ward in southwest Delhi on a pilot basis.
The proposal was later rejected in the standing committee meeting of the south corporation.
Pathak said that the proposal to privatise sanitation services was rejected only because of stern opposition by the AAP. “Had this proposal been passed today (Wednesday), sanitisation employees would have been left on the mercy of private companies. Due to AAP’s strong opposition, the BJP-led SDMC had to reject the proposal,” Pathak said.
Narendra Chawla, leader of the House in south corporation, said that there would be no privatisation of sanitation services or of any other obligatory functions of the corporation. He said that the proposal was prepared by the officials of the civic body, which has been rejected in the standing committee meeting on Wednesday.
The south civic body on Wednesday, however, cleared the draft proposal of installation of public e-bike/e-cycle (non-motorised) transportation sharing system in its jurisdiction and also approved the proposal to provide doorstep service to tax payers in filing online property tax through ‘mobile sahayaks’.
According to civic officials, the move of providing public e-bike/e-cycle (non-motorised) sharing transportation facility will work on the lines of a similar system developed by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and aims to expand sustainable and environment friendly transport modes.
Under the draft policy, the civic body through a private agency will provide the facility of e-bike/e-cycle from different locations in its jurisdiction to promote low-cost and environment friendly mobility option to city residents.
The officials said that to avail this service, users will have to register on SDMC’s app and can rent the e-bike for a maximum duration of up to 10 hours within the SDMC area.
As per policy document, users will be charged nominal fee against the use of e-bikes, which will be available at sheds set up across different locations in south corporation’s jurisdiction. Users will have to pay Rs 15 for up to 30 minutes while they have to pay Rs 20 for an hour. For two hours, users will have to pay Rs 40 and for three hours Rs 60. Beyond eight hours, users will have to pay Rs 250.
“It is a draft policy, which is at a nascent stage. We will call tenders and finalise the private agency to run the scheme. It will take a few months to start the facility on ground,” a senior SDMC official said.
He added that the locations of e-bike stations/sheds are yet to be finalised but it would be near commercial spaces, Metro stations, bus stops, offices and parks among others.
In another move, the civic body approved a proposal to provide doorstep service to tax payers in filing online property tax through ‘mobile sahayaks’.
SDMC officials said that the step was mooted after complaints from residents filling property tax through the updated online system. The move will also enhance property tax collection of the civic body, which “had not been satisfactory” this year.
Under the “doorstep service of collection of property tax through mobile sahayaks” policy, residents will have to make a call on SDMC’s call centre to avail the service. The applicant will be then given a unique token number for the same. “It will work on the model of Delhi government’s doorstep delivery of services. A mobile sahayak, equipped with a tablet and internet connection, will then visit the resident of the applicant on a given date and time and help the user in filing the property tax. Users will have to pay a facilitation fee, which will be not more than Rs 135, after successful transaction of the tax amount to SDMC,” the official said.
The deadline to roll out this scheme is January 2021.