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Union nod comes with reservations

The Central government’s nod to the trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has come with some riders. Neelam Pandey reports.

delhi Updated: Nov 24, 2011 23:54 IST

The Central government’s nod to the trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has come with some riders. Senior Delhi government officials said the Centre has asked the city government to incorporate certain changes in the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2011, which were not part of the original proposal.

While the city government will decide the appointment of the directorate of local bodies for the three corporations, the director’s duties have been chalked out by the Central government. The director will oversee the functions of the corporation as far as the division of common facilities and services are concerned. “He will be responsible for coordination of common facilities and services that are under the control of the management of the corporation in whose area they are located,” said an official.

The political wing of the MCD had raised certain queries over financial liabilities that the newly formed corporations will have to face; the Centre has included those in the Bill too.

The financial management will be overseen by the director. He will also look into the division and utilisation of the corporations’ assets. The home ministry’s letter states the director will “decide, in the interim, the utilisation of various assets and discharge of liabilities of the corporations”.

The director will also be responsible for overseeing the collection and sharing of tax from toll centres and gates that are under the control of respective corporations, in which they are located.

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit too admitted that some changes were made by the Central government in the Bill.“There have been some minor changes, but most of our suggestions have been accepted. The appointment of the director will be done by us and we hope that the corporations will now be closer to people,” she said.

Not only this, as this is the first time such a new set-up is being created, the director will be responsible for resolving the functional and administrative anomalies arising after the constitution of the three corporations. “The director will undertake this exercise in consultation with the municipal commissioner,” said a senior Delhi government official.

East Delhi will suffer most, says Mayor

Delhi mayor Rajni Abbi said East Delhi would suffer the most due to the trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

She added the proposed East Delhi civic body, comprising Shahdara (north) and (south) zones, would generate the least income in the form of property tax, thus making it difficult to sustain on the meagre amount. “The expenditure to provide essential services and infrastructure is much more than the income, so residents of the colonies will be left out from development work,” she said.

Property tax is the major source of revenue for a civic body. And, the two Shahdara zones have been able to contribute just around 5% of the total R1,080-crore revenue that the MCD generates every year.

“In the proposed set-up, one or two corporations will flourish, whereas there will be much less income for the remaining agencies, mainly East Delhi Municipal Corporation,” she said.

Delhi BJP president, Vijender Gupta, accused the Congress government of hatching a political conspiracy and violating the Constitution. He said by dividing the MCD, the Congress government has violated the principle of autonomy to local bodies, as provided in the Constitution.

First Published: Nov 24, 2011 23:47 IST