Delhi civic agency to be split into three (Second Lead)

May 30th, 2011 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The Delhi government Monday decided to split the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) into three smaller units while retaining the number of wards at the existing 272.

Speaking to reporters, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said: “The cabinet has taken the decision to ensure smooth functioning of the MCD. Before finalising the decision to split the civic body, we had consulted several other top party leaders.”

The MCD is proposed to be split into three zones - north, south and east. People living in west Delhi will come under the south zone civic agency.

Dikshit said a four-member committee has been appointed to finalise the setting up of the new units. After that, a proposal will be sent to the union home ministry for approval.

The members of the committee are: D.M. Spolia, finance secretary; M.M. Kutty, principal secretary to the chief minister; S.P. Garg, law secretary; and R.K. Srivastava, urban development secretary.

“The committee will be submitting its report in three-four days,” Diskhit told reporters.

The coordination between these units will be done by the urban development department of the Delhi government. There will be a mayor and a commissioner in each of the three proposed MCD zones.

According to sources, the cabinet decision came after Dikshit met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on the division of the MCD.

Dikshit described the split as a step forward in the direction of efficient and responsive municipal administration in the national capital.

“It has been decided to restructure the present MCD into three separate corporations, there will be a separate municipal authorities for east, south and north in the capital. This set-up will streamline the delivery of services by the municipal bodies more efficiently,” she added.

The chief minister also said that the cabinet decided to reserve 50 percent of the total seats for women under the new set-up. This will prove to be a historical step in furthering the process of women’s empowerment in the capital, she said.

Dikshit has been campaigning for the last four months for splitting the MCD. The move has been facing stiff opposition from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which controls the civic body, and some Congress leaders in the MCD.

The MCD is the largest civic agency in India and the second biggest in Asia, after the Tokyo local agency, in terms of geographical area, its spokesman said. The civic agency handles 96 percent of Delhi’s land area and provides services to 98 percent of its population.

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