Delhi: The Delhi Municipal Corporation will now be a single organisation. The Ministry of Home Affairs has notified the Municipal Corporation Delhi about MCD (Amendment) Act, 2022 which talks about reunifying North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) into one civic body.
The Act gained President Ram Nath Kovind's assent on April 18, 2022, according to a gazette notification released by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice. Before the civic elections, a new census will be conducted to redesign the municipal wards of the city. Thereafter, the elections of MCD will take place.
We talked to some people from Delhi NCR to know about their views on this development.
Madhuri Varshney, a candidate for upcoming counsellor elections of MCD, says, "In 2012, the MCD was divided into three parts with 272 wards. Furthermore, after 15 years, we have been told that the main reason for the unification of the MCDs is to provide unpaid salaries to the employees that have been delayed for a long time. The central MCD did not work efficiently during the 2000s when it was unified, how can we expect the outcome to be any different this time? We have no idea how the new arrangements will work on the ground; we wonder how one body will do justice when three could not provide enough benefits. Perhaps now the elections could take about a year to happen, given that a new delimitation exercise has to be carried out."
Madhuri says that the Central Government claims that they have taken the decision of unifying MCD to fix the system, no road map has been shared by them with the authorities or the public.
Gudiya Gupta, RWA President GK-M Block, says, "There was a reason why MCD was divided to NDMC, SDMC and EDMC in 2012 so all work more efficiently. Three different independent MCDs are easier to maintain. As far as I think, the unification of MCD is a bad call. The MCDs were performing miserably during the times of covid-19, now how will a central MCD manage the affairs altogether? The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has been doing nothing. The gardens are in dilapidated conditions. Most of the maintenance is done by the people, grasses are growing tall, and roads are under construction which is creating many problems."
Vishal Rajput, a social activist and CA from South Delhi says, "The reason the centre cites for this merger is inadequate funds. All the liabilities, employees and revenue sources of the three corporations South, North and East will be transferred to the reunified MCD so people could get their required salaries on time. However, if you ask me, SDMC had higher taxes as they generate more significant revenue than the other two corporations. North and East corporation has shallow revenue generation as many houses are not registered, and many cannot pay. Moreover, if we merge them into one, this could create an imbalance in the whole system.
He continues, "I think the standard issue of concern is whether, after the unification, we can solve any problems or not? A ward had an average of 60,000 voters. After the unification and delimitation, it would be 80 thousand voters because the wards will be 250. The councillors who could not handle the area of 60 thousand voters would now be handling 20 thousand voters more. A single administration of MCD would be complicated now, there would be delays to work as it was already chaotic," he says.