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Delhi MCD split gets final go-ahead from assembly

"It will make the corporation (MCD) accessible, approachable and improve its administration," Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said after .

Bhuvan Bagga   New Delhi     Last Updated: December 2, 2011  | 10:24 IST

The division of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) into three separate entities received the final stamp of approval from the state assembly on Thursday.

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The Delhi Municipal Corporation Amendment Bill (DMCAB), 2011, was approved after a voice vote by Congress MLAs amid the din created by Opposition BJP on unrelated issues of FDI in retail and complete statehood for Delhi.

A buoyed Sheila Dikshit, who later addressed the media, described the passage of the split Bill as historic. "It will make the corporation (MCD) accessible, approachable and improve its administration," the chief minister said.

She even hinted that the demand of complete statehood for the national Capital could be taken up in the near future.

"Currently, the issue of MCD trifurcation was the key," she said.

Several pertinent questions, though, remain unanswered.

  • According to the proposal, the new civic divisions in North and South Delhi will have 104 wards each, while the one in East Delhi will have 64.
  • A directorate of municipal services will be set up to coordinate the functioning of the three new entities.
  • The MCD's three wings will also boast of a greater participation by women as the Centre has approved a proposal to increase reservation for women in the civic bodies from 33 to 50 per cent of the total 272 seats.

The government is still not clear about the financial prudence of the new municipal structure. How the three new municipalities - South, North and East Delhi - will share their revenues, resources or employees still isn't clear.

Another contentious issue relating to the rotation of seats after the implementation of a 50 per cent quota for women went unanswered. According to the new structure, several seats marked as reserved for women in an election could become general seats in the next. This will create a basic problem for the electorate: the elected councillor will be least interested in nurturing his/ her constituency because it can become reserved or unreserved anytime.

While entirely supporting the move to reserve 50 per cent seats for women, the BJP MLAs questioned the rationale behind the rotation. Dikshit acknowledged it was an issue.

"(Even) we are uncomfortable with the idea of rotation. It will affect the interest of the elected representative. We will discuss it," she said.

Acknowledging the need for better coordination between multiple civic authorities, the Delhi government has formed a special committee under the chairmanship of Dharmrajan, a retired IAS official.

The committee will compile a report on the removal of possible bottlenecks and suggest new coordinating mechanisms for the trifurcated municipality.

Courtesy: Mail Today

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