With the Delhi government going all-out with its plan to split MCD into five parts, the fate of the Civic Centre - the Rs 650-crore new headquarters of the civic body - appears uncertain.
If the Municipal Corporation of Delhi is divided into smaller parts, will the 112-metre, 28-storey building house headquarters of more than one corporation or simply be the office of the zone under which it falls?
Ruling BJP and opposition Congress leaders in MCD seem unsure about how things will turn out.
“We have been maintaining that it is a disastrous idea to divide the MCD. Naturally, the Civic Centre will be the headquarters of only one part of corporation once MCD is split into five. The whole expenditure on the huge building will have no meaning,” city Mayor Prithvi Raj Sawhney said.
He said the split will cause infrastructural problems as offices of five corporations, five commissioners and other additional staff will be needed.
“We have been saying that it is being done with malafide intention. The Chief Minister wants to control the civic body. We are happy that our Congress colleagues have also recognised the problems and raised the issue with their leadership,” the Mayor said.
Congress councillors led by Leader of Opposition J K Sharma had met Ms. Dikshit to oppose the proposed division while some party MLAs from Delhi recently met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to raise objection to the plan.
Congress Legislature Party in the city has, however, endorsed the proposal. In a politically-sensitive move, the Delhi cabinet had earlier decided “in principle” to split the MCD into five smaller bodies ahead of 2012 municipal polls.
Asked about the Civic Centre issue, Mr. Sharma said the city’s tallest building should not be divided.
“My suggestion is instead of two, the MCD can be divided into two parts - one corporation for trans-Yamuna area and one for the rest. While the trans-Yamuna corporation can have its headquarters at Town Hall, the other part can have its office in Civic Centre,” he said.
Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Civic Centre, which was inaugurated by Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram in April 2010, has a 28-storey tower and four six-storey blocks.
Most of the executive wing of the MCD has already moved there though some offices under deliberative wing are yet to be shifted.