NEW DELHI: After a long wait, the three municipal corporations will finally be reunified into one civic body on May 22, as per a gazette notification issued by Union Home Ministry on Wednesday evening.According to the notification, the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022, which was approved in both Houses of Parliament last month, will come into effect from May 22 when the new MCD will be constituted.
According to the new Act, the total number of seats of councillors and the number of seats reserved for members of Scheduled Caste (SC) communities, shall, at the time of the establishment of the reunified corporation, be as determined by the Centre and will in no case be more than 250. A delimitation exercise will be carried out by the State Election Commission (SEC) for the same.
The tenure of the three MCDs is about to end, with the North and the South corporations completing their terms on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, and the East corporation on May 22. After that, the trifurcated bodies that came into existence in 2012 will cease to exist and a ‘special officer’ to run the unified MCD will have to be appointed.
According to civic officials, a fresh notification with respect to the appointment of the special officer is likely over the next five days. “All the consultations for the appointment of the special officer are taking place at the top level in the Union Home Ministry. The idea is to hold the MCD elections only in 2024 around parliamentary elections,” said a senior BJP leader.
The preparations for the reunification of the civic bodies had started last month only after parliamentary approval to the amended MCD Act.An exercise had started to collate the number of employees under each department and the assets and liabilities of each corporation. The exercise was briefly halted till the dissolution of the Houses of the three corporations.
In absence of an elected body, the Lieutenant Governor is the head of the civic body. On Wednesday evening, reports of Delhi L-G Anil Baijal’s resignation triggered speculations around the timing of his move. “It seems that the BJP-led Central government will first appoint the new L-G and then make the appointments of the special officer and commissioner of the unified MCD,” said another BJP leader.
The BJP has been ruling the MCDs for 15 straight years and the elections were due in April. However, minutes before the SEC was slated to announce the poll schedule, it deferred the elections. Later, the Centre declared its intent to merge the three MCDs. The State Election Commission was scheduled to announce the civic poll dates on March 8, but had to defer the announcement.
What the new Act means for civic body
According to the new Act, the total number of seats of councillors and the number of seats reserved for members of SC communities, shall, at the time of the establishment of the reunified corporation, be as determined by the Centre and will in no case be more than 250. A delimitation exercise will also be carried out.