Delhi's New Mayors Seek Unified MCD Post LS Polls

Buoyed by BJP's clean sweep in the mayoral polls in the Capital, two newly-elected Mayors have said that they prefer a unified civic body for Delhi over a trifurcated one, and will raise the matter with the party if it comes to power at the Centre.

North Delhi Mayor Yogender Chandolia, who was elected unopposed, has made his stand clear on the issue and intends to take it up with the party soon after the election results.

"I would prefer a unified MCD, I have worked in it before. There should never have been three municipal corporations in the Capital, but the Delhi government stubbornly decided to trifurcate it," Chandolia told PTI.

Chandolia, 51, who earlier served as the chairman of the standing committee in the NDMC in 2010-11 and 2011-12 terms during the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) just before its trifurcation, blamed the then Dikshit government of "imposing" the burden of "three civic bodies" on the city.

"In my opinion there should be one MCD but I also know that state BJP in its manifesto talks of trifurcation. Since, it is party's decision I have to follow it but I can tell you that I will raise the unified civic body issue with the party," he said.

The trifurcation brought with it, concomitant issues and created conflict in resource allocations and led to suffering of many employees in its wake.

"Post-trifurcation, many projects were halted since their funding was approved during unified time and there were no concrete policies after trifurcation to address the issues. Similarly, funding of libraries suffered too" he said.

Hardinge Library (now Hardyal Library) in Old Delhi's Chandani Chowk area is situated in north Delhi but it has branches in various other parts of the city leading to conflict in resource allocation.

Chandolia further expounded the problems saying, "Many employees have not been able to get their pensions and this problem would not have arisen if there was one municipal corporation."

East Delhi Mayor Meenakshi concurred with Chandolia and said she too would prefer a unified municipal body for the national capital.

"Trifurcation also led to problems increasing three times. We cannot have three policies for the same city. Moreso, funding for east Delhi has suffered after the trifurcation. We have little house tax and there are many other issue to be dealt with," the 32-year-old mayor said. 

South Delhi Mayor Khushi Ram, unlike his other counterparts, said, "He would respect his party's decision."

He, however, did not rule out the idea of restoring a unified MCD.

In south Delhi, which saw perhaps the most dramatic of all three mayoral polls, BJP won the top civic post by a single vote after two Congress MPs did not caste ballot.

MCD's trifurcation has been key issue in civic body debate in the Capital. However, Mayor Meenakhi said, "It has also brought some good changes with it."

"It has become easier for people to meet commissioners and other officials for the respective corporation areas," she said.

Among the priorities, the three mayors agreed that cleanliness, health and education would top their lists.

"Cleanliness is a big issue for us, apart from waterlogging prevention during the coming monsoon but what we wish to give to people of Delhi is responsible governance," Chandolia said.

"We also want to work on maintenance of our parks in our larger goal of a prosperous and beautiful Delhi," he said.

Meenakshi also counted the unauthorised colonies in her East Delhi area as a primary issue that needed to addressed.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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