The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved a Bill to merge the three municipal corporations in Delhi ahead of the civic polls. This will likely exacerbate the political bickering between the BJP, which rules the three municipal corporations, and the AAP, the ruling party in the Delhi government.
The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill may be introduced as early as the ongoing Budget session of Parliament.
A unified municipal corporation will be better equipped to ensure utilisation of financial resources and help reduce their already-elevated liabilities and expenditure, official sources said. The amendments to the principal Act of 1957 will also lead to a robust delivery architecture and ensure greater transparency and governance, they said.
In 2011, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was trifurcated into the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC). But the move hampered their revenue generating potential. There was a huge gap in the resources garnered by each of corporations, while their obligations kept rising, the sources said.
The stressed financial position of some of the corporations impaired their ability to make timely payments of salaries and retirement benefits to their employees. This prompted the employees to resort to protests to get their dues.
The announcement of civic polls was earlier expected to be made on March 9, but the State Election Commission has deferred the declaration. This has led to a political tussle between the BJP and the AAP.
The erstwhile MCD was governed under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957, which continues to be the legal basis for the three corporations since trifurcation.