Centre approves unification bill to merge Delhi civic bodies

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The Centre on Tuesday approved the unification bill to merge the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi.

The decision to merge these three agencies of the MCD was approved by the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

As per government sources, the Bill for “The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022” is likely to be tabled in Parliament during the coming week and will unify the MCD by subsuming the existing three bodies.

The erstwhile MCD was trifurcated into three civic bodies -South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) — in 2011 through the Delhi Municipal Corporation Amendment Act, 1911 (Delhi Act, 12 Of 2011).

However, this trifurcation of the corporation was uneven in terms of the territorial divisions and revenue generating potential of each corporation. As a result, there was a huge gap in the resources available to the three corporations, vis-a-vis their obligations.

The gap then widened over a period of time, increasing the financial difficulties of the three civic bodies, leaving them incapacitated to make timely payment of salaries and retirement benefits to their employees and thereby creating serious impediments in maintaining civic services in Delhi.

Earlier, the government had postponed the announcement of the elections to the civic bodies hinting that these three bodies will be merged.

Calling the postponement of the MCD elections a threat to the nation’s democracy, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that this was the first time the Centre had written to the State Election Commission to postpone polls.

He also asked the government what were they doing all these years if they so urgently wanted to merge these civic bodies into one.

He also said that the government wrote to the EC few hours before the poll schedules of the MCD elections were to be announced.

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