With Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit stating that the nod from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi could come as soon as this Tuesday, the Delhi BJP appears to be divided on how it would affect the governance of the Corporation headed by it at present. Nevertheless, party leaders are unanimous that the split would not impact the political equations in the upcoming civic body polls.
Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta has criticised the move to split the MCD on the ground that the Chief Minister wants to “end the political rights of the people of Delhi with the help of bureaucrats”.
Pointing out that the advice of the experts of the municipal body was not taken while drafting the proposal for splitting the corporation, Mr. Gupta has expressed fear that the after the proposed trifurcation people will face harassment.
“The proposal to form a coordination department at the level of the Delhi Government for the three Municipal Corporations showed that the MCD cannot be divided from administrative and economic point of view,” he said.
He said the present zonal system in the MCD helps the people to get their work done in their respective zones and the workload on the corporation is also evenly divided. At the moment, Mr. Gupta said the MCD is divided into 12 zones and each one has Ward Committees with full powers to solve the problems of their area. “Hence, even today the MCD is divided in 12 small corporations. Only on this ground the proposal to trifurcate the MCD is unjustified.”
Raising doubts about the economic feasibility of the proposal, he said all the three corporations will not be economically competent, especially East Delhi where the expenditure is more than the income. “Due to this the progress in that area will be affected.” At present the expenditure of any area can be met through the additional income from other zones.
Besides, the Delhi BJP president said the creation of three separate headquarters and political set-up will lead to about Rs.1,000 crore additional expenditure on staff and infrastructure. The MCD has about 1.25 lakh employees in all.
Through this trifurcation, Mr. Gupta said the Delhi Government wants to have administrative control over the corporation which is under the Central Government. Thus, he asserted that the trifurcation was “unconstitutional and against administrative, economic and geographical justification”.
However, BJP national general secretary Vijay Goel is of the view that the trifurcation would not only improve governance as it would take the respective corporations physically closer to the citizens, it would also result in better delegation of powers should the police and civil administration in the respective areas also be made accountable to the new civic bodies.
“The BJP has always supported the idea of division of the MCD in its election manifestos and so I am in favour of this proposal provided all the departments – like police, fire and civil administration – working in a given corporation work in tandem with it,” he said.
But, Mr. Goel said the manner in which the process of trifurcation was “carried out in haste and with political motives” makes him doubt the intentions of the Delhi Government.
“The ordinary people should benefit with the services coming closer to them. That should be the goal. Also, multiplicity of authority should end. I believe the manner in which coordination takes place between the Public Works Department and the MCD or between the Delhi Government and the Centre on various issues at present could be improved on for providing better services through the new corporations.”
Mr. Goel also emphasised on developing long-term goals for the new corporations so that they become “mini States” that function for the welfare of Delhi as a whole.