Disbanded by the AAP government in 2013, then revived again in August 2016, the Trans-Yamuna Area Development Board in Delhi is now pushing for an increased budgetary allocation from Rs 20 crore to Rs 160 crore to “serve as the engine for development in east Delhi”.
All 16 MLAs of the board supported the proposal at a meeting and wrote to the Urban Development (UD) department to increase the funds allocated to “at least Rs 10 crore” per Assembly. This will take the existing corpus available to the board of Rs 20 crore to an increased amount of Rs 160 crore.
Monday’s board meeting was attended by all 16 MLAs of the board. These included Cabinet ministers Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai, along with BJP MLAs from east Delhi Om Prakash Sharma and Jagdish Sharma.
The meeting was also attended by the principal secretaries of the UD department, Finance department and Planning department. Satyendar Jain, the state Urban Development Minister, is the chairman of the board. A government spokesperson said, “The MLAs unanimously passed the agenda that the budget for the board should be increased to at least Rs 10 crore per Assembly segment.”
Formed in 1994 by the Delhi Government, the board had been instrumental in cementing the Congress government’s popularity in Trans-Yamuna areas. It was also the main source of income for the municipal corporation projects in the area. The body had, in the past, sanctioned Rs 800 crore for developmental work. But in 2012, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) argued that with the trifurcation of the civic body, the board should be disbanded and the funds be diverted to the EDMC.
In 2013, the AAP government disbanded the board as the party was keen on implementing the Delhi Nagar Swaraj Bill that allowed citizens to approve such projects. Consequently, the EDMC cancelled all major projects sanctioned by the body, including the redevelopment of lake areas and construction of community centres, schools and dispensaries.
An AAP leader said, “East Delhi is where the party did really well in 2013, and again in 2015. But recent trends have started showing that the party’s popularity is waning. The board has the potential to revitalise the development work in these areas.”
After being revived in August 2016, the board had announced that they would restart development work at Shahdara lake, Sanjay Van lake and beautification of border areas, among other major projects planned for the area. “The Trans-Yamuna area funding is insufficient for the amount of work required there,” said a government official.