Congress unveils draft road map to make Delhi MCs self-reliant

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) Accusing the three municipal corporations in Delhi of mismanagement that led to a financial crisis, the Congress on Monday unveiled what it said was a draft road map to make the civic bodies self-reliant.

Releasing the document, former Union Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram said excessive pilferage during collection of revenue and implementation of projects were the major causes of debt burden of the North, South and East MCs.

Elections to the three municipal corporations are due in April.

“The three municipal corporations, run by the Bharatiya Janata Party, are racing down to the bottom. They seem to be competing against each other in bad administration,” Chidambaram said and pointed out that the cumulative debt of the three civic bodies was in excess of Rs 1,500 crore.

He said widening property tax and toll tax collections can increase their revenue.

“Only one third of the eligible properties are under tax net at present. Using modern technologies like the GIS (geographic information system) to locate properties, the net collection can be enhanced to 80 per cent, resulting in tax collection of Rs 3,878 crore per year as against Rs 1,600 crore at present, the senior Congress leader said, quoting the draft document.

Speaking on the occasion, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said Rs 1,553 crore was due to sanitary workers in wages alone.

“Our vision is not just to bring the corporations out of the mess but to make them financially self-reliant. This road map spells in detail the ways revenue generation can be improved for the MCs,” he said.

Maken said an annual fund of Rs 2,000 will be created for the development of infrastructure-deficit areas of Delhi, particularity unauthorised colonies and slums.