gfiles magazine

October 19, 2012

Municipal woes

 Vol. 6 | issue 7 | August 2012 the way
Municipal woes
IT is going to be a bad year for Delhi. Believe it or not! With its newly constituted Municipal Corporations, headed by leaders from the BJP, and the State Government, being headed by the Congress, the city is today facing piquant problems of governance. What adds to the paradox is that the three Municipal Corporations are headed by women, who can be said to have just jumped out from their ‘kitchens’ into the ‘frying pan’ that public life and governance is all about. Again, while the municipalities comes under the Ministry of Urban Development and Local Bodies, the issues that they are looking after, read civic amenities, are those that need to be cleared by the State Government, headed by Sheila Dixit. And with elections round the bend (December 2013), the Dixit Government appears to be in no mood to release funds to these Municipalities, something that they are woefully short of. Shiela Dixit does not want to cede any credit to the BJP-ruled municipalities for better work so she is squeezing their funds, preventing them from undertaking any ‘developmental’ work. The shrewd politician that Dixit is, she has also said that all work related to roads and street lights will not be handled by the Municipalities but by the Public Works Department, which comes directly under the State Government. Now, roads and street lights are areas where everybody is ‘interested’. These Municipalities are also short of experienced and trained officers, with there being many officials eager to switch over from Delhi Administration or to join on deputation from different cadres. But their files are pending with the local commissioners, who are in a fix; if the files are cleared by the Chief Secretary, it is not necessary that the three Mayors will approve of the appointment. So, from pillar to post, the files are moving and decisions are pending.

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