Leaders of the ruling BJP in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi called on Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday to seek more funds for better delivery of services in slum and jhuggi-jhonpri clusters and the education sector.

The delegation comprised Delhi Mayor Kanwar Sain, MCD House leader Subhash Arya and MCD Standing Committee chairman Ram Kishan Singhal. They requested Mr. Chidambaram to advise the Delhi Government to ensure that the MCD is allowed to dispose of its properties to generate revenue by way of interest on income which could then be used by the civic body’s Slum and JJ Department to provide better civic amenities in slum and jhuggi-jhonpri clusters.

“The Slum and JJ Wing of the MCD is at present not allowed to dispose of its own properties. Hence we are demanding that instructions issued by the Delhi Government in September 2007 be withdrawn so that the civic body is able to transfer ownership rights by way of long-term lease to people residing in the slum areas and resettlement colonies,” Mr. Arya said. The delegation also pointed out that the Slum and JJ Department should be made stronger and allowed to function under MCD’s jurisdiction itself.

According to the delegation, Mr. Chidambaram agreed in principle that adequate funds should be provided for development of slum and jhuggi-jhonpri clusters and the education sector and also stated that he would get the matter examined in consultation with the Delhi Government and take appropriate action in public interest at the earliest.

The delegation also sought a higher allocation under the Plan and non-Plan funds to finance ongoing projects in the education sector. Mr. Arya said: “During 2009-10, a budget provision of Rs.800 crore has been made keeping in mind the expenditure trend and the salary hike of teachers with the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.”

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