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Central Cabinet approves unification bill to merge Delhi’s 3 municipal bodies into 1

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The three Municipal Corporations of Delhi will be merged into one. The Union Cabinet on Tuesday (March 22, 2022) approved a bill in this regard that will be tabled in Parliament during the ongoing Budget Session. This means that instead of the present – East Delhi Municipal Corporation, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, and South Delhi Municipal Corporation – there will be only one civic body in the national capital city.

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“Today union cabinet approved the unification of three municipal corporations – North, South and East” to one MCD. A bill for the three corporations is likely to be tabled in Parliament on March 24 or 25. After unification of three corporations approved by the Parliament, Delhi will have one mayor in place of the existing three,” according to sources.

“The erstwhile Delhi Municipal Corporation was trifurcated into three Municipal Corporations – the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) in 2011 vide the Delhi Municipal Corporation Amendment Act, 1911 (Delhi Act, 12 Of 2011). The amendment to the Act provides for a unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi by subsuming the existing three corporations,” they added.

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 sources pointed out.

That gap has widened over time, sources said, increasing the financial difficulties of the civic bodies, leaving them unable to pay salaries in time and retirement benefits to the employees. This has had a spiral effect on the civic services in Delhi.

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Delhi BJP chief Aadesh Gupta welcomed the move. “The decision taken by the Union Cabinet to amalgamate the three corporations is a very welcome step, which will strengthen the corporation and do better work for the public,” he said.

Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had targeted the Centre after the announcement of the poll dates for the Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) was postponed, calling it a “threat to the country’s democracy”. He said: “This was the first time that the Centre had written to the State Election Commission to postpone polls.”

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