Delhi government, civic bodies lock horns

Delhi Govt asked civic bodies to focus on better tax collection and financial management to improve their revenue position.

New Delhi: Continuing its offensive against BJP-ruled civic bodies, Delhi Government on Monday asked them to focus on better tax collection and financial management to improve their revenue position rather than blaming it for all the difficulties.

Two senior ministers -- A K Walia and Raj Kumar Chouhan -- addressed a press conference along with three senior MLAs in which they lambasted the new civic bodies as well as erstwhile MCD for "shifting blame" on Delhi Government for all their problems.

"We do not believe in blame game which they are indulging in. We want them to perform their basic duties. If they face any problem, then we are always there to help," said Urban Development Minister Walia.

City BJP chief Vijender Gupta and newly elected mayors of all the three municipalities have been attacking the government

for not providing any bailout package as demanded by them and instead extending a loan of Rs 1,831 crore.

Walia said the city has over 32 lakh properties but MCD could collect house tax from around nine lakh properties only.

"They need to improve tax collection and ensure financial efficiency," he said.

Accusing the MCD of total failure in providing minimum civic services to the citizens, PWD Minister Chouhan said that instead of announcing their plans and programmes, the mayors of the new civic bodies are concentrating on facilities like housing accommodation and cars for themselves.

"We have been in power for last 14 years. Still we do not have government bungalows," he said, adding the municipal bodies have been targeting the city government for all their difficulties.

Besides the ministers, the press conference was attended by Parliament Secretary to the chief minister Anil Bhardwaj, Spokesperson of Congress Legislative Party Mukesh Sharma and MLA Hari Shankar Gupta.