Councillors against bifurcation

NEW DELHI, MAY 20. An overwhelming majority of Councillors of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi feel that any further bifurcation of the civic body would only result in further complications, increase the financial burden and was unlikely to yield the desired results.

Arguing that the present MCD set-up could be decentralised by giving more administrative and financial powers to the existing 12 Zonal Committees, they said at the most there can be a separate Corporation for the trans-Yamuna area.

Of the 40 Councillors interviewed on the Virender Prakash Committee Report recommending that the MCD be divided into six smaller civic bodies, 31 of them, including 20 from the BJP, 10 from the Opposition Congress (I) and one Independent, said they were personally against this.

Only seven Councillors, including three each from the BJP and Congress(I) and one from the BSP, favoured the move to split, arguing that this will make things much easier as at present it was unmanageable. Even of the 31 Councillors who have opposed the move, eight said that there can be a separate corporation for the trans-Yamuna area. Two Councillors refused to comment.

While nine of the 13 women Councillors opposed the Virender Prakash Committee recommendations, two favoured it and another two refused to comment.

``My personal experience over the past four years has been that the division of the MCD would bring in complete anarchy in the Capital. This will create more hurdles in the smooth functioning of civic bodies and increase complications,'' said Ms. Azhar Shagufa of the Congress(I).

Mr. Ajit Chaudhary of the same party argued that the best way to tackle the present inefficiency was to give more power to the existing 12 Zonal Committees. ``Then there will be no need for the people to rush to the Town Hall for every petty matter,'' he said.

While Ms. Kamla Malhotra of the BJP said with bifurcation, the civic bodies would be reduced to the role of a ``sanitary inspector'', Mr. Mahendra Nagpal said it will lead to multiplicity of authorities.

``This will result in heavy financial implications on the exchequer with the creation of so many posts,'' argued Mr. Anil Goel of the BJP. Same was the view expressed by Ms. Memwati Berwala of the Congress(I) and Ms. Mira Agarwal of the BJP. The ``Capital will loose its homegeneous character,'' said Mr. Vijender Kumar.

However, for Mr. Shishu Pal Singh of the BSP, bifurcation leading to decentralisation of power was the only way out for giving more power to the people. ``This will make the elected representatives more accountable,'' he said.

According to Ms. Poornime Vidyarthi of the BJP with smaller civic bodies, the elected representatives would have more time and money at their disposal for much smaller section. ``This will make things more workable. It will not increase complications as argued by some,'' she said.

On condition of anonymity one BJP Councillor and former Mayor, was in the favour of disbanding the MCD and increasing the number of MLAs. ``There is a clash of roles between both the elected representatives,'' he said.

Still a number of them said that trans-Yamuna was one area where they were in favour of a separate civic body. ``We can have a separate body for the trans-Yamuna area on an experimental basis and see its functioning and then decide on the other smaller bodies,'' said Mr. Yogdhyan Ahuja of the BJP.

Mr. Divya Jaiswal of the BJP also pointed towards resolution passed by the MCD House in this regard. ``Except for trans- Yamuna, other smaller civic bodies will not serve the purpose,'' he said.