Delhi Urban Development Minister A.K. Walia on Wednesday said a lot of improvement was required in the functioning of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi for ensuring the success of the upcoming Commonwealth Games in the city.
Speaking at the conclusion of a short duration discussion on the “working condition of the MCD” in State Assembly, the Minister said the MCD Act of 1957 had vested almost all powers in the civic body but later those pertaining to transport, power, sewage, water, fire and industrial estates were entrusted with the Delhi Government. Noting that the slum wing was also expected to be transferred soon, he charged that the MCD lacked political wisdom, a proper monitoring system and had been involved in misappropriation of funds because of which its powers need to be taken away.
The Minister said while at present there was no cooperation between the MLAs and councillors, it was time to work together for the success of the Games. He mentioned that MLA funds worth Rs.592 crore were given to the MCD during 2004-09 out of which Rs.468 crore remain unspent.
“The financial limits with the Municipal Commissioner and other high officials need to be hiked to accelerate the pace of development,” Dr. Walia stated, adding that there has been no reluctance on the part of the Delhi Government in providing funds to the MCD. However, he said, the Corporation too should develop a proper accounting system and put an end to misappropriation of funds.
The Minister said rampant construction of unauthorised building in Delhi was a matter of deep concern and the MCD should also develop a proper monitoring system. He said the Corporation was also not ensuring proper sanitation.
While acknowledging that the MCD was imparting education to nearly 10 lakh students and had started construction of multi-level parking, initiated door-to-door collection of garbage and introduced a biometric system, Dr. Walia said it still needs to work on delivering quality work and developing a proper work culture.
Earlier, initiating the discussion, Congress MLA from Patparganj Anil Kumar Chaudhary said while the MCD was teaching lakhs of students, the quality was such that those passing out of Class V of its schools were actually no better than those studying in Class II of other schools. “It is the Delhi Government schools teachers who later work hard on them to improve the results,” he said. Similarly, he charged that healthcare in MCD hospitals was in a shambles with even basic diagnostic equipment not functioning properly in most of them.
“While every year MCD spends about Rs.50 crore on one medicine used for killing mosquitoes, the number of cases of malaria and other vector-borne disease tell a different story,” he said.
Similarly, he said, the sterilisation program of the MCD for controlling the spread of stray dogs only results in expenditure of crores of rupees every year but has failed to deliver results, as can be seen by all.
In the discussion, several Congress MLAs also spoke against the plans of MCD to name its civic centre after an individual.