The Centre has issued a Gazette notification announcing the merger of the three municipal bodies into one to be called “Municipal Corporation of Delhi”.
The Bill for the merger was passed in the recently concluded session of Parliament. On April 18, the Gazette notification was issued bringing into effect The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022, after it got the assent of President Ram Nath Kovind.
“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 by notification in the Official Gazette and the number of seats to be reserved for the members of the Scheduled Castes shall, as nearly as may be, bear the same ratio to the total number of seats as the population of Scheduled Castes bears to the total population of Delhi,” the Law Ministry’s notification read.
As per Act, the determination of seats as aforesaid shall not affect the then composition of the Corporation until the expiry of the duration of the Corporation.
Seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes may be allotted by rotation to different wards in a manner prescribed by the Centre, it further says.
The Ministry of Home Affairs will issue a separate notification for the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The Act indicates that a fresh census will be carried out to redraw the wards in Delhi.
Delhi, currently, has 272 municipal wards and after the merger of the three bodies, the National Capital will have a maximum of 250 wards reducing the present number.
The MCD (Amendment) Bill passed by the Parliament on April 5, mandated the Centre to appoint a special officer to exercise the power and discharge the functions of the corporation until its first meeting of the new MCD is held.
The law for the merger gives greater authority to the Centre and according to the new provision, the Commissioner of MCD shall exercise powers and discharge functions on “building regulations” under the Centre’s general superintendence and direction.
Elections for three MCDs were scheduled this month but was deferred on March 9 following Centre’s communication about the merger.
The terms of the three municipal bodies will expire on May 18, 19, and 22.
In 2012, the then Chief Minister Sheila Dixit had trifurcated the MCD into three separate municipal bodies for better administration of the civic body.