After Assembly polls, AAP starts preparing groundwork to take control of Delhi’s three municipal corporations in 2022

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New Delhi: Barely a day after sweeping the Delhi assembly elections, an upbeat Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is preparing the groundwork to take control of the city’s three municipal corporations, polls for which will be held in 2022, according to senior leaders who said cleanliness and sanitation would be among the party’s top priorities during its third term in the state secretariat.

To achieve this, the AAP government, in its third term, plans to shift its stance from being at loggerheads with the civic agencies — which Kejriwal has in the past described as a “den of corruption” — to proactively cooperating with them by devising issue-based schemes.

The east, south, and north Delhi municipal corporations (EDMC, SMDC and North MCD) are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which won in 181 of the 272 wards of the city in the April 2017 MCD elections. The AAP was a distant second, winning 49 wards, and the Congress was pushed to third position with 31 wards.

The AAP, for which the 2022 MCD elections will be a second attempt to take control of the agencies that largely deal with cleanliness apart from running some schools, parking lots and streetlights, plans to launch “model projects” across the city with the focus on infrastructure maintenance and sanitation.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had hinted about such projects. “Till the MCD elections, we will take certain steps; after the civic polls, we’ll do more… For vacuum-cleaning of roads, we’re exploring a scheme in which the Delhi government will give funds to the MCDs specifically for scaling up cleanliness across the city…” Kejriwal had said.

AAP member Jasmine Shah, who is the vice-chairman of the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDCD), said the party has already formed a core team to identify specific issues that can be addressed by the Delhi government through the MCDs, even without being in control of the bodies.

“The AAP government will bring back its Mukhyamantri Sadak Nirman Yojna (CM road building scheme) in a big way. Under this, the Delhi government’s Public Works Department will be asked to carry out repair works of even roads that fall under the jurisdiction of the three MCDs,” Shah said.

The DDCD is a policy making body of the Delhi government that works as a think-tank, identifying problems in consultation with citizens and then suggesting solutions.

The Kejriwal-led government will also scale up the CM streetlight scheme, which was launched just weeks before the assembly elections on February 8. Under this scheme, all streetlights, even if they are to be managed by the MCDs, will be maintained by the Delhi government.

 

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