The Delhi government is meting out "step-motherly" treatment to municipal corporations in the national capital due to which they are struggling with inadequate resources for carrying out their responsibilities, Home Minister Amit Shah said in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Moving the bill which proposes the reunification of three municipal corporations for consideration and passage, Shah suggested that the trifurcation of the MCD was done in a hurry for political reasons which lead to an imbalance between the income and liabilities of the civic bodies. Being the country's capital, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament, Prime Minister's Office, central secretariats, among other important offices, are in Delhi and carrying out civic services is very important here, he said and urged the House to consider Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 rising above party politics.
The Aam Aadmi Partygovernment in Delhi has been critical of the Centre's move to bring the bill a month before the elections to the three municipal corporations, claiming it was an attempt by the BJP to delay the polls as it feared defeat. The Delhi Municipal Corporation was trifurcated in 2011 by the then Delhi government led by Sheila Dikshit to create compact municipalities aimed at providing better delivery of services. "I tried to look for the reasons for the trifurcation, scoured through files but could not find anything on it," Shah said, adding that when there are no reasons it can be assumed that it may have been done due to political reasons. The analyses from 2012 to 2022, made this government come to a conclusion that the corporations must be combined into one, Shah said. Asserting that the corporations were trifurcated in a "hurry", the home minister said the three bodies run on different policies, there is no coordination between workers and due to this anomaly, dissatisfaction has also been found among them. "When resources and responsibilities were trifurcated, it was not done without much thinking. One corporation will be in surplus while the other two will have less income and more liability," he said.
Due to this, problems arise and the elected members face a lot of issues, Shah said. "I want to say with responsibility...the Delhi government is working with a step-motherly attitude towards the municipal corporations. Step motherly treatment is being meted out because of which the municipal corporations are not finding themselves equipped with adequate resources to carry out their responsibilities," Shah said. From a strategic and cooperative point of view also, it would be appropriate to have only one municipal corporation taking care of the civic services of Delhi, he asserted. Shah pointed out that there are also amendments in the bill to ensure that the corporation is run with transparency and efficiency, and it also limits the number of councillors to 250. "I request you to consider this bill rising above party politics," he urged the members of the House. The bill had been introduced on Friday by Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai.
The BJP has been ruling the municipal corporations in Delhi for the last 15 years and the AAP has been sensing an opportunity to oust it from power and strengthen its grip on the national capital. The bill seeks to unify the three municipal corporations into a single, integrated and well-equipped entity; ensure a robust mechanism for synergised and strategic planning and optimal utilisation of resources; and bring about greater transparency, improved governance and more efficient delivery of civic service for the people of Delhi. At present, the three corporations in Delhi -- North, South and East Delhi Municipal Corporations -- have a total of 272 seats. While North and South corporations have 104 seats each, the East corporation has 64.