Challenges aplenty for new municipal corporations
Though the trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) — the world’s second largest municipal body after Tokyo in terms of the number of people it serves — aims at improving local governance, the three smaller units face the formidable task of living up to the expectations of the diverse electorate. The reason: The different demography and distinctly varying demands of the three areas .
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation — with its largest number of developed residential colonies and an electorate that contributed more than 50% of the revenue — will have to cater to a population that comes from a relatively stronger social-economic background. On the other hand, the north Delhi and east Delhi municipal corporations largely comprise rural and migrant population that look forward to basic amenities such as water and sewage.
No wonder main political parties have also decided to come up with separate election manifestoes aimed at the electorate in the three areas.
“While people living in unauthorised slums and rural areas in east Delhi and north Delhi corporations will vote for basic facilities such as road, water and sanitation, the urbane electorate in south Delhi have different expectations,” said Anil Gupta, a BJP leader from east Delhi.
East Delhi Municipal Corporation — with almost 25% of its electorate spread across 64 municipal wards in 16 assembly constituencies — has many unauthorised colonies and a population that has migrated from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has a number of villages where children still have to travel long distances to get higher education. Basic amenities such as roads and sanitation still have to make inroads. And the fact that it contributes the minimum amount in terms of taxes is likely to make things difficult for the legislature as well as the bureaucracy."We are still in the process of working out the total revenue each municipal body generates and their expected yearly expenditure. The state government will obviously make more budgetary provisions for the corporation that is likely to earn lesser revenue," said a senior Delhi government official.