In Friday’s Lok Sabha sitting, the central government has put forth a bill seeking the merger of three municipal corporations into one single corporation within the NCT. The opposition has protested against this bill by stating that it is not under Parliament’s authority to render the capital’s MCD into a single body when the Delhi Assembly itself has trifurcated the corporation.
The bill has stated that the 2011 trifurcation of capital’s MCD has been uneven w.r.t. territorial divisions and revenue potential. The bill seeks to remove the financial strain on the three corporations and offer better resources to the residents of Delhi.
The central government has also pointed out that the triple corporations of MCD have created quite a gap in resources availability. This gap has widened with time and has caused corporations to unable to provide timely salaries and retirement benefits to their workers. This has become a major cause of the frequent strikes among municipal employees.
The opposition has criticized the move by pointing out that the bill has not given any solution to an existing financial crisis. As per the Indian Constitution, the power vested to create municipal corporations lies in the hand of the states. The opposition has accused the central government of deferring the scheduled MCD elections by proposing such a bill. They have also said that the trifurcation of MCD was done with the state’s decision and interest in mind and that the Parliament has no jurisdiction over removing the previous division of MCD.
The bill stays on to propose that there should be a downfall in the total number of seats in Municipal Corporation from 272 to 250 and reservations should be given to SC (Schedule Class) and ST (Schedule Tribe). There will be an appointment of special officers who will look over the working and functioning of MCD until the first MCD meeting after the reunion. The amended law will give more power to the center as the center will be responsible for the number of seats to be allocated to councilors and SC members after reunification.
At present, the amendment legislation is silent on funds allocation to reunify MCD. The center has criticized the trifurcation law and has requested to convert the present MCD structure into a single, united entity.