On Friday, the Center appointed IAS officers Ashwani Kumar and Gyanesh Bharti as Special Officer and Commissioner of the Unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), respectively, in accordance with an order issued by the Home Ministry. .
Both notifications will be effective from May 22, when the MCD will become a single entity.
“Now that the appointment of the special officer and the commissioner has been made, the demarcation exercise of the commission can be done,” a senior officer said, adding that municipal elections can only be held after that.
According to the State Election Commission, the delimitation exercise – which was triggered by the reduction in the number of councilman seats – will take “at least a year”.
“Encroachment campaigns will continue even after the merger,” an official said.
BJP-led civic bodies have launched an anti-encroachment campaign that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “the greatest destruction” of independent India.
The law makes a series of amendments which will limit the number of seats for councilors to no more than 250 – out of the existing 272. Also, the word “government” will be changed to “central government” in 11 sections of Delhi Municipality. Companies Act, 1957.
The central government’s proposal to merge the three companies – which was unveiled on March 9, the day the state election commissioner was due to announce the dates for the municipal elections in Delhi – sparked a war of words between the BJP and the party Aam Aadmi.
While the AAP said the BJP was ‘afraid to hold municipal elections’, Union Home Minister Amit Shah accused the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi of ‘stepmother treatment’ towards the three civic bodies.
Shah said two municipal corporations were in no condition to support themselves financially, so they are restructuring taxes and changing policies to continue operations.
The three municipal corporations were trifurcated in 2012 by the then Congress government in Delhi.
The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill amalgamated the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation.
The BJP has been in power at the civic level since 2007.