Delhi govt to recommend to Centre splitting of MCD

Delhi government on Thursday decided to recommend to the Centre for dividing the MCD into five smaller bodies ahead of the 2012 municipal polls.

Last Updated: Apr 07, 2011, 20:19 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi government on Thursday
decided to recommend to the Centre for dividing the MCD into
five smaller bodies ahead of the 2012 municipal polls in the
city, a move opposed tooth and nail by opposition BJP.

A meeting of the Delhi Cabinet, presided over by Chief
Minister Sheila Dikshit, accepted the recommendations of a
high-level committee which suggested splitting the civic body
into five smaller municipalities besides increasing the total
number of wards from current 272 to around 410.

Dikshit had appointed the committee headed by Health
Minister A K Walia, in February to suggest reform in the civic
body. The committee had submitted its report last week.

Walia said the proposal will now be sent to the Union
Home Ministry for approval and after getting the required go
ahead, it will be placed before the Delhi Assembly.

"The Cabinet has accepted the recommendations of the
committee and decided to recommend splitting of the MCD
into five bodies. Now, we will send the proposal to the Centre
for approval. After that, it will be brought to Delhi
Assembly," Walia said after the cabinet meeting.

He said the Cabinet has favoured smaller wards and
decided that each ward should not have a population of more
than 40,000. Officials said the number of wards may go upto
410 from current 272.

The BJP strongly criticised the government and said, "It
would oppose the move tooth and nail."

"It is being done to gain political mileage. Why they
have decided to split the MCD when municipal polls are just a
year away. It is being done with vested interest. We will soon
meet Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to oppose the
decision," said city BJP chief Vijender Gupta.

The Delhi Government, which has been critical of MCD`s
functioning under the BJP, had appointed senior BJP leaders V
K Malhotra and Jagdish Mukhi to the high-level committee but
both of them had resigned from it just ahead of the first
meeting, accusing the government of trying to divide the
MCD to gain political mileage.

The committee examined recommendations of various
previous committees on reform in MCD and broadly agreed on the
recommendations of the V K Malhotra committee as well as Deep
Chand Bandhu Committee, both of which had suggested splitting
the civic body into five units.

The V K Malhotra committee report in 2004 had
recommended division of MCD into five units and had suggested
setting up of a "mayor-in-council" for each of them.
Officials said the committee has recommended having five
mayors and five municipal commissioners.

PTI