- The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was introduced in Lok Sabha on March 25, 2022. The Bill seeks to amend the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 passed by Parliament. The Act was amended in 2011 by Delhi Legislative Assembly to trifurcate the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi into: (i) North Delhi Municipal Corporation, (ii) South Delhi Municipal Corporation, and (iii) East Delhi Municipal Corporation. The Bill seeks to unify the three corporations.
- Unification of Municipal Corporations in Delhi: The Bill replaces the three municipal corporations under the Act with one Corporation named the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
- Powers of the Delhi government: The Act as amended in 2011 empowers the Delhi government to decide various matters under the Act. These include: (i) total number of seats of councillors and number of seats reserved for members of the Scheduled Castes, (ii) division of the area of corporations into zones and wards, (iii) delimitation of wards, (iv) matters such as salary and allowances, and leave of absence of the Commissioner, (v) sanctioning of consolidation of loans by a corporation, and (vi) sanctioning suits for compensation against the Commissioner for loss or waste or misapplication of Municipal Fund or property. Similarly, the Act mandates that the Commissioner will exercise his powers regarding building regulations under the general superintendence and directions of Delhi government. The Bill instead empowers the central government to decide these matters.
- Number of councillors: The Act provides that the number of seats in the three corporations taken together should not be more than 272. The 14th Schedule to the Act specifies 272 wards across the three Corporations. The Bill states that the total number of seats in the new Corporation should not be more than 250.
- Removal of Director of Local Bodies: The Act provides for a Director of Local Bodies to assist the Delhi government and discharge certain functions which include: (i) coordinating between Corporations, (ii) framing recruitment Rules for various posts, and (iii) coordinating the collecting and sharing of toll tax collected by the respective Corporations. The Bill omits the provision for a Director of Local Bodies.
- Special officer to be appointed by the central government: The Bill provides that the central government may appoint a Special Officer to exercise powers of the Corporation until the first meeting of the Corporation is held after the commencement of the Bill.
- E-governance system for citizens: The Bill adds that obligatory functions of the new Corporation will include establishing an e-governance system for citizen services on anytime-anywhere basis for better, accountable, and transparent administration.
- Conditions of service for sweepers: The Act provides that a sweeper employed for doing house scavenging of a building would be required to give a reasonable cause or a 14 day notice before discontinuing his service. The Bill seeks to omit this provision.
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