Swaraj India promises changes in Delhi’s municipal governance

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) On the threshold of entering the electoral arena with the upcoming MCD elections, the Swaraj India party on Sunday announced a comprehensive agenda for the overhauling of the municipal governance in the national capital.

Announcing its bid for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections, expected to be held in mid-April, the newly-launched party promised an array of changes in the municipal governance — “the most neglected and critical tier” — which it will bring about, if it wins.

“We believe that participatory, accountable and responsive governance must begin at the village- and municipal-levels. This is why Swaraj India begins its electoral journey from the grassroots,” party President Yogendra Yadav told media persons here.

He said the municipal wing of governance is the most neglected here than cities in the rest of the world where it tends to be more powerful.

He added that they will contest the elections on the basis of issues which are ailing the city, instead of verbal jousting which the political parties tend to indulge in during polls.

The changes Yadav promised included strengthening the MCD by more transparency in councillors’ usage of funds, recovery of dues from other agencies such as the Delhi Development Authority, and implementation of the Fourth Delhi Finance Commission’s recommendations that entail more financial liquidity, among other matters.

Policies to tackle the menace of corruption range from issuing licences to street vendors and ending the “institutionalised” bribery to limiting councillors’ salaries to an amount that doesn’t go beyond covering their “livelihood needs and routine expenditure”.

Other areas which found mention in the party statement were measures to stem environmental degradation and seasonal epidemic break-outs, making the city garbage-free, expediting parking projects, and takeover of all MCD schools by the state government, among others.