Splitting up MCD will cause more problems':

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) :

The Indian capital's largest civic body is proposed to be split into
three for better administration, but social activists and experts say
the move will only lead to more corruption.

Delhi's Congress government plans to break up the Municipal Corporation
of Delhi (MCD) that caters to some 15 million people into three smaller
corporations, in keeping with a promise in its election manifesto of
last year.

But instead of making life easier, the move will only increase the woes
of the common man because of more red tape, say experts.

H.D. Shourie, a leading civil rights activist and director of the NGO
Common Cause, said splitting up MCD was not a solution.

"It is unfortunate that political parties are hell bent on splitting
MCD. This step will complicate the civic body's administration," Shourie
told IANS.

Architect and town planner Pravesh Sirohi said: "The trifurcation will
mean that we will have four corporations operating in one city, and this
will give rise to political fiefdoms in each corporation and make
administrative fiascos inevitable."

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is backing the move to create smaller
units to increase efficiency and check corruption.

Congress leaders have also argued that a single corporation was no
longer capable of handling massive tasks like maintaining roads, drains,
sewers, cremation grounds and markets in 97 percent of Delhi.

The New Delhi Municipal Council is responsible for similar tasks in the
central part of the city, including the VVIP area comprising the
parliament, while a Cantonment Board is responsible for an area in south
Delhi housing military establishments.

Reacting to the views of Congress leaders, Shourie said: "I see no
rationale behind the trifurcation. It must not be forgotten that we have
one corporation taking care of all civic needs in huge cities like
Mumbai and Kolkata and I see no reason why something similar cant be
done in Delhi.

"The move will split the administrative uniformity of MCD, a very
essential element for giving a uniform character to the city, and will
also breed corruption."

Not everyone agrees.

There are any number of residents who argue that dealing with smaller
corporations, with offices closer to their homes, would make
interactions easier and provide better grassroots governance.

However, a leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party disagreed. He
said: "Imagine the chaos that would prevail in the capital once MCD is
split. If there are three corporations, there will be more red tape and
more corruption."