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‘Special Officer’ to be boss of reunified MCD till new House holds session: Experts

New Delhi, Apr 5 (PTI) As Rajya Sabha passed a bill for reunifying the three municipal corporations of Delhi on Tuesday, experts and civic officials said a special officer will be “boss” of the new civic body till its House holds the first session.

Parliament passed the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, with the Rajya Sabha giving its nod to it through a voice vote after negating all amendments sought by the opposition.

According to the bill, passed by Lok Sabha last week, the unification of the municipal corporations will ensure synergised and strategic planning and optimal utilisation of resources.

The number of seats in the merged municipal corporation of Delhi will not exceed 250, and a special officer may be appointed to oversee its function till the first meeting of the body is held under the reunification law, according to the bill.

S K Sharma, former secretary of Lok Sabha, said the three civic bodies will continue to function till the end of their respective terms.

“After which a special officer, as is provisioned in the bill, will take over till the House of the newly-formed entity holds its first session. This person will be the boss of the new MCD that will come into being,” he said.

Since the trifurcation of the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the NDMC and the SDMC have 104 wards each, while the EDMC has 64 wards, spanning 272 wards in total.

The terms of the three corporations — South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) — end on May 18, May 19 and May 22 respectively.

A senior civic official said it is likely that “a very senior IAS officer would be appointed to the post of the special officer, who will effectively be the boss till the new House holds its first session, which is when the mayor of the unified body would also be elected by the House”.

The civic official said the erstwhile MCD had been “superseded” on a few occasions and an “administrator” had governed the corporation.

It happened from 1975-77 and then 1980-83 and again from 1990-97, he said.

The erstwhile MCD had come into being on April 7, 1958 and it was set up after amalgamating several local bodies and administrative committees, according to archival records.

According to old documents and reports accessed by PTI, and views of many experts, the MCD was modelled on the lines of the ‘Bombay Municipal Corporation’, when it was being envisaged by policy-makers, around a decade after India’s independence.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi had come into being under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957.

As Delhi is on way to get a unified municipal corporation once again, many constitutional experts recalled the inception and journey of the erstwhile MCD which they said was a “very powerful body” with a “very powerful mayor”.

Delhi Transport Undertaking (later Delhi Transport Corporation), Delhi water board and some of the other units were also under the erstwhile MCD earlier. PTI KND SMN

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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