Civic councillors protest Delhi government takeover move

October 6th, 2009 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) As many as 163 municipal councillors of the Bharatiya Janata Party Wednesday marched to the home minister’s office here and presented a memorandum protesting the proposed takeover of the civic agency by the Delhi government.
Led by Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) leader of the house Subhash Arya, and also comprising senior BJP leaders, the black-clad protesters marched from the MCD headquarters in Town Hall to the home minister’s office to present the memorandum.

“We strongly believe that the important issues concerning the city governance should not be decided on political basis. But the present government is working out of political considerations,” Arya alleged.

“The performance of the MCD and the Delhi government are being compared by the public. The Delhi government does not stand anywhere in efficiency or in providing civic facilities to the public in comparison to the MCD,” he added.

The MCD, which is responsible for nearly 96 percent of the land area in the city, is run by the opposition BJP and — in accordance with the legal framework — under the direct supervision of the central government.

The protest was a reaction to a recent union home ministry proposal to transfer 23 powers of the MCD to the Delhi government. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has several times requested the central government to place the MCD under the control of the state government to streamline its functioning and make it accountable to the public.

MCD came into existence April 7, 1958, under an act of parliament. It is one of three civic bodies in Delhi, the others being the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) — which runs civic administration in a district of about 42 sq km where the central government is mostly seated — and the Delhi Cantonment Board.

The Congress-led Delhi government and the BJP-led MCD have always been at loggerheads. While the former accuses the MCD of “inefficiency”, the civic body cites “step-motherly” treatment of the government in fund allocations.

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