Demand funds, saying “unable to meet liabilities”

Leaders of the three Delhi Municipal Corporations on Tuesday demanded their share of funds from Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung, saying they were unable to meet all their liabilities in the absence of release of money on time.

“We gave the L-G nine letters. If he doesn’t respond by the weekend, all councillors of the three corporations will march to his house and stage a dharna,” said the Leader of the House of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation Subhash Arya.

The Mayors of the North and the South corporations, the Leaders of the House and Chairpersons of the Standing Committees of North, South and East civic bodies met Dr. Jung to discuss problems plaguing the corporations.

“We are forced to delay payments of contractors so that we can pay the salaries of safai karamcharis,” said Mohan Bhardwaj, the North Corporation Standing Committee Chairman.

All development work in Delhi has been lying stalled since October, said Mira Aggarwal, the Leader of the House in the North Delhi Municipal Corporation. She said the Aam Aadmi Party Government had stopped the flow of funds to the corporations.

“They [the AAP Government] cut our share of the revenue and gave it to the electricity companies in the form of subsidy,” she said, referring to the power subsidy announced by the Arvind Kejriwal government.

“Before that, the Congress Government never thought about the people of Delhi. It also didn’t release the funds. We told the L-G about this,” Ms. Aggarwal added.

The leaders said the Delhi Government owed the corporations around Rs.7,000 crore in all, with Rs.1,767.40 crore being in the form of a loan that was supposed to be waived off. The Government had to pay corporations for expenditure in the education sector and implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission among other things.

Apart from demanding funds, the municipal leaders asked the L-G to look into the policy on booking community halls and parks, the need for new sanitary landfill sites and development works in unauthorised colonies and urbanised villages.

They asked the L-G to consider an amnesty scheme for properties having floor area ratio of up to 400 and which were constructed till December 2013. “Make this a part of the Master Plan. We should just pass their maps,” said Mr. Arya.

He said the delegation told the L-G that all sanitary landfill sites in Delhi were full and new land was needed. Mr. Arya also brought up the issue of multiplicity of agencies. “We have to take NOCs from other authorities for all our work.”

Elaborating on this issue, Ms. Aggarwal said for getting water pumps installed in the corporations’ parks, the discoms asked for NOCs from the Delhi Jal Board, which in turn asked that certain criteria be fulfilled.

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