Delhi’s three municipal agencies, run by the BJP, have been merged into one today, after the Rajya Sabha passed a bill to this effect. It was already cleared by the Lok Sabha.
The move to unify the three municipal corporations, or MCDs, namely South, East and North, came under stiff opposition from the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, which is in power in Delhi under Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The centre has said the move to combine the three MCDs would ensure better operations, save costs and ensure better use of funds.
Till now, the revenue collected by the three MCDs differed widely. The South Corporation is the richest among the three, while the North Corporation suffers from acute shortage of funds.
Home Minister Amit Shah today accused the Aam Aadmi Party, or AAP, government in Delhi of “stepmotherly treatment” towards the three civic bodies. Speaking in Rajya Sabha during a discussion on the bill to merge the three municipal corporations, Mr Shah said there is nothing in government records on the objectives behind trifurcating the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in 2012.
“Ten years have passed, and the experience has been different. When the civic body was trifurcated, the objective must have been good: to give better services to residents. But this has not been the result,” Mr Shah said.
Listing the reasons behind this, he said, “The policies adopted by the three civic bodies are different. In the same city, there is no uniformity in policies. This is because when the civic bodies were trifurcated, their economic resources and responsibilities were not assessed properly.”
Mr Shah said two municipal corporations are in no state to sustain themselves financially, so they restructure taxes and tweak policies to continue operations.
There have been more than 250 strikes involving these three municipal corporations in the past 10 years, the Home Minister said. “The number of strikes have gone up due to the step-motherly treatment by the AAP,” he alleged.
Opposing the Bill, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said, “This Bill is four things: it is constitutionally suspect, it is legally untenable, it is an administrative blunder and it is politically hypocritical.”
“This Bill is about control, more control and more control by a control-freak sarkaar,” he said, adding that it has “nothing to do” with the improvement in services to Delhi citizens.
The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill merged the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation.
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