Delhi Municipal Corporation Amendment Bill, 2022 to be introduced in Lok Sabha today: Here's all you need to know about the Bill

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, March 25, 2022, 12:18 PM IST
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Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 will be introduced by Home Minister Amit Shah in Lok Sabha today.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Union Cabinet gave its nod to present a bill for the unification of three municipal corporations in Delhi, "The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022".

Here's all you need to know about the Delhi Municipal Corporation Amendment Bill, 2022:

The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill provides for a unified municipal corporation of Delhi by subsuming the existing three corporations where the BJP is in power since 2012. The BJP was also in power from 2007 to 2012 in the erstwhile unified MCD.

The erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was trifurcated into three municipal corporations - South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) in 2011.

The number of seats in the merged municipal corporation of Delhi will not exceed 250, and a special officer may be appointed to oversee its function till the first meeting of the body is held under the reunification law, according to a bill on the merger, reported PTI.

The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, circulated to Lok Sabha members, also said the 2011 trifurcation of the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi was "uneven" in terms of territorial divisions and revenue generating potential.

The bill proposes that the total number of seats of councillors and those reserved for Scheduled Castes members in the merged body will be determined by the Central government through a notification in the official gazette.

"Upon the completion of each census after the establishment of the Corporation, the number of seats shall be on the basis of the population of Delhi as ascertained at that census and shall be determined by the central government..." the bill states.

According to one of the provisions of the bill, the total number of seats in the merged body "shall in no case be more than two hundred and fifty (250)..."

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.

The bill has a provision that the Central government may, "if necessary", appoint a person to be called the "Special Officer", to exercise the power and discharge the functions of the Corporation until the date on which the first meeting of the body is held after the commencement of the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022.

The Union Cabinet had on Tuesday approved the bill to merge the three municipal corporations of Delhi.

According to the statement of object and reasons of the bill, The Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 was enacted to consolidate and amend the law relating to the municipal government of Delhi.

In 2011, the law was amended by the Delhi legislative assembly leading to trifurcation of the Corporation into three separate bodies.

The main objective of trifurcation of the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi was to create compact municipalities at various centres in Delhi in the interest of providing more efficient civic services to the public.

"However, trifurcation of the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi was uneven in terms of territorial divisions and revenue generating potential. As a result, there was huge gap in the resources available to the three corporations compared to their obligations," the bill says.

Over a period, the gap has only widened, increasing the financial difficulties of the three corporations in Delhi, leaving them incapacitated to make timely payment of salaries and retirement benefits to their employees, it notes.

The delay in the payment of salaries and retirement benefits have resulted in frequent strikes by the municipal employees which have not only affected civic services, but also created concomitant problems of cleanliness and sanitization, it says.

Such financial constraints on the part of the three municipal corporations result in inordinate delay in the fulfilment of their contractual and statutory obligations and create serious impediments in maintaining civic services in Delhi, it argues.

"The experience of the last ten years shows that the main objective of trifurcation of creating compact municipalities in Delhi to provide more efficient civic services to the public has not been achieved," it says.

The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill seeks to unify the three municipal corporations into a single, integrated and well equipped entity.

It also seeks to 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.

(With inputs from PTI)

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