The Delhi CM had said in a press conference recently that public representative bodies will be empowered.
Residents of East Delhi have picked holes in Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s promises ahead of the municipal polls.
At a press conference on April 19, Kejriwal had said, “Funds for development work will be allocated to contractors only after RWAs of a particular area give satisfactory reports. Public representative bodies will be empowered.”
When City Spidey spoke to a few residents, they said that they have been listening to such promises for many years. RWA members alleged that the measures Kejriwal is promising now were supposed to be implemented through mohalla sabha two years ago.
Purusottam Bhatt, president of United India Apartments, a residential housing society in Mayur Vihar Extension, said, “What happened to mohalla sabhas that were introduced to do the same work?”
Bhatt alleged, “I have a lot of experience in visiting the councillor’s office. In a queue of contractors, only those are allotted work who give the maximum bribe. What can RWAs do? Is this the kind of empowerment RWAs want?”
Mohalla sabha is concept introduced by Aam Aadmi Party two years ago that allows residents to have a say in how municipal funds would be used in a particular mohalla (an area of a town or a village). It was opposed by RWAs across the city as it was similar to RWAs. Representatives of RWAs felt that the concept was politically motivated, and was a threat to the autonomy and existence of other residents’ associations.
BS Vohra, president of East Delhi RWAs Joint Forum, an apex body of RWAs, said, “The Delhi government so far has failed to reach out to RWAs. We, RWA representatives, have been raising the same issues he is talking about today. They never paid attention to the RWAs’ voice and now they are promising to empower RWAs!”
Several RWA members believe that overlooking RWAs is the main reason behind poor governance in civic issues. “In two years of their government, no meeting was organised with the RWAs regarding the government’s work or our needs,” said Anil Pandey, president of Vasundhara Enclave CGHS Federation.