MCD to be split into 5 smaller bodies; wards to remain at 272

Unfazed by stiff opposition to the division of MCD, the Delhi government has finally decided to split the civic agency into five smaller bodies ahead of next year`s municipal polls but the number of wards will remain at 272.

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2011, 23:04 PM IST

New Delhi: Unfazed by stiff opposition to
the division of MCD, the Delhi government has finally decided
to split the civic agency into five smaller bodies ahead of
next year`s municipal polls but the number of wards will
remain at 272.

Top sources in the government said 50 per cent of the
total seats will be reserved for women even if number of wards
was not increased to 408 as envisaged earlier. Currently 33
per cent seats are reserved for women.

"A final decision has been taken to split the MCD into
five smaller bodies while the number of seats will remain at
272 out of which 50 per cent will be reserved for women," a
source said.
The proposal, being pushed by Chief Minister Sheila
Dikshit, has created fissures in the party with a section
openly coming out against it. However, unperturbed by the
criticism, Dikshit has been keen on going ahead with the
proposal.

"The government has decided not to increase the number
of wards respecting opinion of a section of party workers,"
the source said.

Earlier this month, the Cabinet had accepted the
recommendations of a high-level committee, headed by Health
Minister A K Walia, which suggested splitting the civic body
into five smaller municipalities. The committee had also
suggested increasing the total number of wards from current
272 to around 408.

The decision to go ahead with the proposed split of
MCD comes a day after Congress municipal councillors and state
executive committee members opposed the move on the ground
that it might hurt the party in the civic polls next year.
The Congressmen opposing the move had even criticised
Dikshit at a DPCC meeting last week for not consulting with
party MLAs and councillors before the Cabinet gave an
in-principle approval to the proposal.

The BJP had in the past demanded division of MCD into
smaller bodies but after appointment of the high-level
committee in February by the government, the party started
opposing the move.

It said the government`s move to split the MCD just a
year ahead of the municipal polls was aimed at gaining
political mileage only.

The BJP in its election manifesto for assembly polls
in Delhi in 2008 had favoured trifurcation of the MCD.

Congress leaders, opposed to the move, when asked to
comment on the issue said a final decision on it will be taken
after holding consultation with party chief Sonia Gandhi.

PTI