‘Due to non-formation of the key panel, many important civic works are awaiting approval’.
With just two months left for the completion of the tenure of the current private concessionaire, there are diminishing chances of the statutory Standing Committee, the highest decision-making body of the civic agency, being constituted. The delay has pitted the ruling Aam Adami Party (AAP) against the Opposition BJP, with the latter calling it a blow to the public-centric mandate of the MCD.
“Since the AAP came into power in MCD, they have mishandled MCD whether at times of floods, dengue, or garbage. As the Standing Committee is still to be formed, Delhi’s civic agency has not been able to depute a new agency to pick up garbage in the Central Zone,” said the leader of the opposition (LOP) in MCD Raja Iqbal Singh. He added that, due to the non-formation of the key committee, many important works are pending approval.
Singh told The Sunday Guardian: “Ever since the AAP government came to power, there has been a hindrance in the progress of Delhi.” He said if MCD keeps working like this, then after two months, the “whole of central Delhi will look like a dustbin as it gets filled with garbage”.
He said that on 23 November 2023, the contract of a private concessionaire tasked with collecting waste from neighbourhoods in central Delhi ran out, and after that, the entire city would fill up with garbage.
He raised questions on MCD and asked why the mayor of Delhi is not forming a standing committee and ward committee in the corporation. He said, “Due to the lack of formation of a permanent committee, who will take responsibility for the contract of the agency doing the cleaning work?”
Leader of the House in MCD Mukesh Goel said: “We are aware of the situation the corporation has two months before the deadline, and we are legally examining what steps can be taken to avoid this crisis.” Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Shelley Oberoi, did not respond to requests for comment.
Raja Iqbal said that there is no scope for the contract to be extended further and a new concessionaire cannot be appointed without the approval of the standing committee, as municipal commissioners only have the power to approve projects up to Rs 5 crore, while appointing a new agency would cost Rs 1,200 crore, which they cannot approve because only the standing committee can approve those that are yet to be formed.
He said, “The entire process of assigning a new contractor would take at least 2 months, and if the agency is not finalised on time, then services would suffer as the tenure of the old contractor would get over in November 2023.”