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The Congress' manifesto on urban infrastructure for the MCD polls, released today, promises empowerment of resident welfare associations (RWAs) and time- bound delivery of 13 civic services. Highlights of the manifesto include dedicated fund for Chatth Puja arrangements, Bhagidari scheme revival for participatory governance, simplification of building by-laws, ensuring women's security by installing LED lights and house tax exemption for self-occupied properties and senior citizens above 65 years. Releasing the manifesto, Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken accused both the BJP and the AAP of making "false promises" to people on tax issues. "Kejriwal says house tax will be waived after the AAP's victory in MCD polls. Perhaps, he does not know or is just making false promise because house tax can not be waived totally, although exemption in some categories is allowed," he said. The Bhagidari scheme to promote broad-based civic participation in local governance, launched by the Congress when it was in power in Delhi, but "neglected" by the BJP- ruled civic bodies, will be revived and more importance would be given to the RWAs in civic matters, Maken said. If the Congress wins the civic bodies election, the scheme will be implemented in a big way by engaging elected RWAs in parking arrangements in residential colonies, the Delhi Congress chief said. The right of citizens for time-bound delivery of services will be boosted by issuing a charter of 13 civic services, within three days of assuming office in the corporations after the polls, he said. "Government employees concerned who fail in ensuring time-bound delivery of these services will be fined Rs 250 per day beyond stipulated time limit," Maken said. Once the Congress comes to power in the civic bodies, no conversion charges will be imposed on properties under mixed land use, if it has been paid for 10 years.
The civic bodies will set up utilities maintenance department (UMD) for upkeep of multilevel parkings, toilets, night shelters and community halls, he said. Rural and urban villages will be provided with hundred per cent drainage systems, roads will be widened, parking space will be provided and overhead electricity lines will be replaced with underground wirings, the manifesto promised. All asphalt roads will be replaced with concrete ones to make those pothole free. A summer action plan will be prepared to avert waterlogging on roads through desilting of all drains by June 1 every year, it said. The Congress is engaged in a triangular contest with the BJP and the AAP, in the elections for 272 wards of three municipal corporations in the national capital, scheduled to be held on April 23.