The South Delhi Municipal Corporation on Tuesday gave official nod to a proposal to set up Resident’s Ward Committees (RWC) in the capital. The proposal essentially mirrors the mohalla sabha concept of the AAP, aimed at empowering citizens by giving them a greater role in setting and executing development goals in an area.
As per the passed resolution, an RWC will be under the chairmanship of the local municipal councillor and its convenor will be the junior engineer (works). The committee will comprise one member each from registered local resident’s welfare association. Zone, area sanitary inspector and section officer in horticulture will also be members of the committee.
One representative of every registered RWA within the wards of the corporation, whose accounts have been audited for the last three years, shall be nominated to the committee. Along with these, two representatives from trade organisations, two from religious and social organisations, two from senior citizen organisations will be nominated to the RWC.
As per the South municipal corporation, the said committee will meet every month and, for this, a provision of an annual grant of Rs 12,000 has been made. The committees will be provided Rs 30 lakh per ward for developmental works.
State BJP president and former chairperson of the South corporation Satish Upadhyay said, “Mohalla sabha is a new concept for the AAP, while the RWC was first proposed by the BJP during the time of the unified MCD.”
Upadhyay added that RWCs are imperative to better administration in the city and the proposal is independent of any other that the Delhi government may bring.
The proposal was passed with dissent from the opposition. Farhad Suri, leader of the opposition, stated that it will lead to duplication of authority in Delhi as and when AAP’s mohalla sabhas take shape.
The regulation also states that the local councillors of the ward “will act on recommendations made by the RWC and an assessment of accomplished targets will be taken at every subsequent meeting”.
The key difference between the Swaraj Bill, as proposed by the AAP in its election manifesto, and the South corporation’s RWC proposal is that while the Bill speaks of the mohalla sabha as a “general assembly of voters of a particular mohalla,” the RWC seeks to involve representatives from the area along with officials of the MCD working in the area.
The mayor’s office in each municipal division — North, South and East — will monitor the performance of each RWC. The committees will be registered with the MCD as the official consultative group from the ward and will receive a “registration number”, reflecting its official status.