Centre Approves Merger Of 3 Municipal Corporation Into One
The Union Cabinet gave its nod to The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022, which aims to merge the Capital’s three municipal corporations — South, North and East — ten years after the trifurcation of the civic body. The amendment is expected to be scheduled in the ongoing Budget session of Parliament The decision comes 13 days after the State Election Commission (SEC), which was expected to declare the schedule for elections to the three civic bodies — Union the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, called off the announcement at the last minute citing a communication from the central government about its plan to merge the three.
Erstwhile, Delhi Municipal Corporation was trifurcated into three municipal corporations including South Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) in the year 2011, as per Delhi Municipal Corporation Amendment Act, 1911 (Delhi Act, 12 Of 2011). Following which the Delhi government convened a special assembly session and passed the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill in December 2011. The final notification for the trifurcation was issued in January 2012, carving out North, South, and East Delhi municipal bodies with 104 wards given to the first two, and 64 to the latter.
The 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 government sources claimed that the gap has widened over a period of time, increasing the financial difficulties of the three Municipal Corporations, 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.
MSC was the second-largest civic body in the world after the Tokyo Metropolitan Area when it was trifurcated by the then Congress establishment. It was headed by a commissioner, assisted by six additional commissioners, 22 directors and department heads, to oversee key functions such as education, engineering, sanitation, horticulture, among others.
The unified municipal corporation will be a well-equipped entity for optimum and even utilisation of financial resources which will reduce mounting liabilities, expenditure on the functioning of the three municipal corporations and improve the civic services of the national capital. Some more amendments have also been cleared in the principal Act of 1957 to ensure more robust delivery architecture for greater transparency, improved governance and more efficient delivery of civic services for the people of Delhi. The city may suffer again as the process of unification is being carried out without taking into confidence the civil society and without any concrete exchange of dialogue in the public domain by the central government and its authorities