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'UAM, trifurcation contributed to MCD's financial crisis'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Trifurcation of erstwhile MCD, increase in number of councillors and introduction of new norms for property tax assessment are some of the major reasons identified by the three cash-strapped civic bodies which are at loggerheads with the AAP government over funds.

All the three BJP-ruled municipal corporations have been facing severe fund crunch which has even affected their cleaning and garbage disposal operation.

Top municipal officials said financial position of both the North and the East Delhi Municipal Corporations was in "very bad shape" as they have deficit of several hundred crores while the South Corporation has barely managed to keep itself "out of the red".

Senior officials at the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) attribute the introduction of the Unit Area Method (UAM) few years back for assessment of property tax and trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in 2012 as "primary factors" behind its current crash crunch.

"The UAM norm brought during the Dikshit government lowered our revenues," a senior official of the NDMC told PTI.

He claimed that though the MCD was told by the Dikshit government that the loss would be compensated, it never did so.

The BJP was severely critical of trifurcation of MCD into three civic bodies -- NDMC, EDMC and the SDMC (South Delhi Municipal Corporation) by the Congress government in 2012.

The mayors of all three corporations have strongly been advocating for unifying the three bodies into a single entity.

According to senior officials, NDMC and EDMC require Rs 221 crore and Rs 60 crore respectively per month for disbursement of salaries.

The EDMC last month had failed to pay salaries to its sanitation workers which had led to a confrontation between them and the management of the corporation. The safai karmacharis had gone on a nearly week-long strike.

While NDMC has around 60,000 employees out of which, around 25,000-30,000 are sanitation workers, the EDMC has 30,000 employees and nearly 15,000 sanitation workers.

NDMC in its budget earlier had pegged total estimated revenue for 2015-16 at Rs 4,404.11 crore.

The budget had also proposed a 50 per cent hike in base unit area value (BUAV) for property tax assessment and increase in lumpsum one-time street charge on vehicles with an aim to improve its finances. However, all these proposals were rejected by the councillors.

First Published: Sun, April 12 2015. 10:32 IST