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Sheila’s comments cause furore in MCD

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party has not taken too kindly to the words of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit that the mismanaged Municipal Corporation of Delhi-run schools be taken over by the State Government.

A meeting of the MCD Standing Committee here on Wednesday was adjourned after Chairman Vijender Gupta condemned statements of the Chief Minister, charging that such comments were “undemocratic, illogical and politically motivated”.

The Standing Committee passed a unanimous resolution denouncing the State Government’s “anti-MCD stand”.

“It is beyond the purview of the Delhi Government to take away the power of the MCD. The civic body was constituted as per an Act of Parliament in 1957 and any modification of the same has to be mediated by the Central Government,” said Mr. Gupta, adding that the motive behind the Chief Minister’s statements was political.

Mr. Gupta was also reacting to a recent High Court statement accusing the civic body of utter lack of facilities in its schools. Lawyer and public activist Ashok Agrawal who had filed the public interest litigation on this issue said: “The most commonly encountered problem in MCD schools is the lack of toilets. There are several schools with over 2,000 students but only two or three toilets. There is also a dearth of clean drinking water and the premises are usually littered and not becoming of an institution of knowledge.”

However, Mr. Gupta later said the move to voice anti-MCD comments was just a “ploy” of the Delhi Government to divert attention from its own failures. “The Delhi Jal Board…. and Delhi Transport Corporation are all struggling with their performances. Even the schools of the Delhi Government are in a dilapidated state. Their Jaffarabad school has just two toilets for over 4,000 students and there are over 10,000 vacancies lying unfilled in all their schools,” he said.

Mr. Gupta said the State Government had never questioned the authority of the civic body as long as the Congress was the ruling party.

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