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During the last MCD polls in April 2017, one of the main campaign planks was ‘Swachh Bharat’. Elections were won and lost, promises were made and forgotten — and a garbage-lined city remains the only consistent reality.
This year too, the new mayor of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), BJP candidate Vipin Bihari Singh, has made the same promises, but the question is will he deliver?
Cash-strapped EDMC is dependent on annual grants provided by the Delhi government for carrying out its initiatives. In the past one year, there have been several petitions from the EDMC in Delhi High Court, seeking a release of the annual fund to the tune of Rs 21,000 crore.
Will things look up for the EDMC this year? Residents are sceptical.
Purusottam Bhatt, president of United India Apartment in Mayur Vihar Extension, said, “During the last MCD elections, they had promised to make Delhi garbage free. A year has passed, and there’s no improvement in civic services. Their tall promises remain far away from the reality.”
Bhatt further argued that whenever the EDMC needs to shore up its revenue, it targets property taxes in posh colonies. “Why has EDMC has given free hand to properties in unauthorised colonies? By doing so MCDs are encouraging people to purchase properties in unauthorised colonies and remain out of the tax slab,” he argued.
To this, BS Vohra, president of RWA joint front East Delh, added, “Residents of East Delhi are awarded with lowest civic facilities for paying taxes. But just EDMC can’t be held responsible. Delhi government is doing the same as well. If garbage is dumped on the road side, its MCD’s fault, but if sewer water is flowing in residential colonies, it’s the fault of the Delhi government. These problems cannot be solved unless RWAs are involved.”
The Ghazipur landfill issue, too, continues to weigh down on the minds of East Delhi residents.
A resident in Mayur Vihar Phase I, who requested anonymity, said “What has the outgoing mayor, Neema Bhagat, done in the last one year. Ghazipur landfill site collapsed in September last year, killing two lives. But waste continues to be dumped there. Is EDMC waiting for more fatalities to happen? Witnessing civic services from the last several years in the city, I don’t believe any changes can be expected from our leaders — things will be as they always have been!”TAGS: EDMC mayor / Neema Bhagat / Swachh Bharat / Ghazipur Landfill / Mayur Vihar Phase I / Vipin Bihari Singh / Cash crunch / MCD / Delhi Government
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