The Delhi government move to allocate Rs 1,000 crore to the three municipal corporations to improve roads in residential areas has sparked a war of words between the BJP and the AAP, with the mayors calling it an attempt to usurp the power of the civic bodies.
The mayors said the Delhi government wants to grab power to build colony roads from the MCDs. Currently, the three corporations — East, North and South — have the mandate to build colony roads, while the Public Works Department builds roads that extend beyond 60 feet.
South body mayor Kamaljeet Shehrawat said, “The government has allocated a budget of Rs 1,000 crore in the name of helping local bodies. But they have smartly retained the power to build those roads. Why are they infringing on our rights?”
Before 2012, they took the right to build bigger roads from us and now want to take the smaller roads as well, she said. Senior AAP leader and spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj, however, said that as per budget provisions, the government will need a no-objection certificate from the L-G if they want to construct roads using the fund. “But an NOC will halt Delhi’s development. We are not interfering in their power to build roads from their own funds,” he said.
To this, North mayor Preeti Agarwal said, “They haven’t given any special package to bail out North and East bodies whose budget deficit is in crores. Workers and teachers have not been paid for months. They could have allocated the fund to us instead of encroaching on our departments,” she said.