We’ll root out corruption andplug leakages: AAP’s Pathak | Delhi News

It has no plans to impose new taxes, but despite this, Aam Aadmi Party aims to improve the financial condition of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi simply by plugging leakages of funds and improving governance. In an interview to TOI, Durgesh Pathak, AAP functionary in charge of MCD, claimed corruption, lack of intent and poor governance had led to the current sorry state of the civic body. Sanitation, encroachments, parking and vendor management were key issues for the party, he added. Saying that Delhiites wanted change, he exuded confidence about AAP winning the coming polls.
Improving finances when MCD has Rs 8,500 crore pending in salaries/arrears and other liabilities
In 2014, the Delhi budget was Rs 25,000 crore. In the seven years since, it has gone up to Rs 75,000 crore. In these years, we have understood where the lapses in the governance system lie. Major reforms are similarly needed in MCD too. It has a decent annual budget of Rs 18,000 crore and with genuine intent, it can get things done. Unfortunately, the BJP-led MCD neither worked to improve its finances nor acquired funds from the central government despite the tall promises made at the 2017 elections.
Boosting tax collections
Survival mode means plugging leakages in MCD. In the erstwhile North Delhi Municipal Corporation, for example, property tax was supposed to bring in Rs 2,100 crore, but this figure never went beyond Rs 600 crore. This could only be due to corruption. Unless MCD wins the trust of the citizens through development, how will people come forward in large numbers to pay house tax?
Managing garbage and flattening the landfills
100% segregation of waste is possible so long as MCD has the will to do so. It claimed to have implemented door-to-door garbage collection but the contracted concessionaires aren’t visiting each house. In power, we will undertake these jobs diligently without burdening the people with ‘user charges’. This will be possible by checking corruption. See, MCD has so far spent Rs 1,200 crore on trommel machines to flatten the three landfills. Yet of the 40 trommel machines, only 19 are working. Moreover, when one machine costs Rs 16 lakh, MCD pays a rent of Rs 6 lakh every month. Isn’t this illogical? And then, MCD first paid a contractor Rs 3,200 per tonne to lift garbage before reducing it to Rs 800 per tonne. Such leakages need to be addressed on priority.
Resolving the parking problem
Unless there is sufficient space to meet 25% of the parking demand, there is no point in imposing measures such as congestion charges as defined in the parking policy. Today, when there are lakhs of four wheelers on the city roads, MCD has created parking space for just 50,000. Parking projects have lingered on for years without progress. In my constituency of Rajendra Nagar, two parking lots were inaugurated a long time ago, but the sites still stand empty.
The problems of encroachment, illegal construction, etc.
In the last 15 years, corruption in MCD’s building department has intensified. It is impossible to get a single building plan sanctioned without paying money under the table. We need to root out this corruption and streamline the process to curb illegal constructions. As for encroachment, we will need to regulate things before taking punitive action.
On questions about tickets to potential candidates
Contrary to rivals’ allegations, our ticket distribution process is purely merit-based. We carried out a ground survey in all 250 wards and nominated candidates based on residents’ feedback. As far as renominating only 41 sitting councillors is concerned, this was due to the changes in ward boundaries after delimitation. We also considered candidates joining us from other parties provided the feedback on them was good.

Source link

Leave a Comment