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L-G to defuse tension between MCD, State Govt.

Sujay Mehdudia

Meeting convened to settle outstanding disputes DDA and the Urban Development Department of the Delhi Government have been blamed for the present mess

NEW DELHI: Concerned over continuing war of words between the Congress-ruled Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Sheila Dikshit Government over various issues pertaining to development works, the Lieutenant-Governor, B.L. Joshi, has convened a meeting on May 18 to defuse the situation and settle all outstanding disputes between the two legislative wings.

According to sources in the Delhi Government, Finance Minister A. K. Walia will represent the case of the Delhi Government before the Lieutenant-Governor who is also the administrator of the MCD. The MCD Commissioner, Rakesh Mehta, along with the Chairman of the MCD Standing Committee, Mukesh Goel, and Leader of the House, Jitendra Kumar `Jeetu', will take part in the meeting.

Both the Delhi Government and the MCD have been at loggerheads over various issues with Dr. Walia charging the Corporation with failure to spend money for development allocated under the MLA Constituency Development Fund. The MCD has alleged that the Delhi Government had failed to release Rs. 190 crores due for the first quarter of the current financial year.

Only last week Dr. Walia had written to the Lieutenant-Governor on the issue and had complained that the Corporation was moving at a snail's pace and nothing was happening. It is understood that Dr. Walia has prepared a detailed note on the shortcomings of the MCD and is likely to go all out against the Corporation for not being able to fulfil its obligations under the Plan fund schemes. "I had issued orders in 2001 that some of the relocated JJ clusters in Raghuvir Nagar, Kalyanpuri and Trilokpuri should be taken over by the Corporation. However, till date nothing has happened. The DDA maintains it has handed over the sites to the MCD while the civic body states that it has still not got any plans or maps of the area. It is a very unfortunate situation as people continue to suffer,'' Dr. Walia added.

Dr. Walia said he had petitioned the Lieutenant-Governor to sort out the issue. Similarly, he said nothing was being done by the MCD about the Gharoli Dairy colony that has been declared residential. He also charged the Corporation with having spent only 10 per cent the development funds from the MLA Constituency Development Fund. The DDA vice-chancellor, Madhukar Gupta, would also be attending the meeting to sort out the problems.

For its part, the Corporation is preparing a detailed note on the status of various projects to present a factual picture to the Delhi Government as well as the Lieutenant-Governor. The MCD has claimed the Plan implementation was almost 100 per cent and there was no shortcoming on this front. The Corporation officials laid the blame for the present mess at the doorstep of the DDA and the Urban Development Department of the Delhi Government. It has been creating obstacles in the implementation of various important works, it has charged.

The Corporation plans to give a point-by-point reply to the issues raised by Dr. Walia.

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