Delhi Mayor meets Chidambaram, opposes proposed MCD split

The Mayor insisted that the 12 zones of the MCD should be strengthened to improve their functioning.

New Delhi: With the Delhi government pushing
for a split of the MCD, city Mayor Rajni Abbi on Thursday called on
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and expressed the civic
body`s opposition to the proposed division which she argued
will "weaken" the corporation.

She also demanded a CBI probe into alleged irregularities
in the Commonwealth Games works as pointed out by the Shunglu
Committee, apparently referring to the indictment of the Delhi
government top brass by the panel.

Abbi told reporters later that Chidambaram assured her
that all stakeholders will be consulted before taking a final
decision on the MCD split.

"We have requested the Home Minister that before taking a
decision, please consult us as we are stakeholders. He told us
that he is yet to receive a formal proposal from the Delhi
government in this regard. When that will come, we will be
called for discussion. He said the stakeholders will be
definitely consulted," the Mayor said.

"We are opposed to the split as it is against the basic
purpose of 73rd and 74th amendment of constitution which
focuses on strengthening local bodies," she said.

The Mayor said the division will "weaken" the corporation
and put an additional burden of Rs 1,000 crore for developing
more infrastructure, including new offices and Rs 1,000 crore
for creating new posts of officials.

Abbi said they raised the demand for fixed salary for
corporators who now get meeting allowances. "We also demanded
that action should be taken on the basis of Shunglu Committee
report on irregularities in Games works and a CBI probe," she

The 49-year-old BJP councillor from Mukherjee Nagar was
elected as Mayor last month.

Soon afterwards, Abbi had said she will present MCD`s
viewpoints on the issue of proposed split to the Centre so
that it can take an "informed decision".

Abbi said the Delhi government`s proposal to split MCD
into five parts "is neither financially viable nor
geographically feasible."

She said the proposed corporations will not be viable as
revenue collection varies from area to area. In the present
set-up, the imbalances in income is taken care of by pooling
together the entire income and spending it as per area needs.

"In the proposed set-up, one or two corporations will
flourish and thrive whereas there will be much lesser income
for the remaining corporations. The development works in most
part of the city will, therefore, suffer," she said.

The Mayor insisted that the 12 zones of the MCD should be
rather strengthened to improve their functioning.

The split plan is being pushed by Chief Minister Sheila
Dikshit but a section of her party was not in its favour.

A final decision may finally be left to Congress chief
Sonia Gandhi with supporters as well as opponents of the move
in the party refusing to budge from their position.


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