The performance of councillors in the three BJP-ruled municipal corporations of Delhi is falling, which is reflected in their attendance in House Meetings, the number of questions asked and the quality of debates, a report released by Praja Foundation, a non-government organisation, said on Wednesday.
“Fewer councillors attended the monthly House Meeting of the MCDs in the financial year 2018-19 as opposed to 2017-18. Attendance in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) dropped from 75.10% to 70.74%; the drop in North Delhi Municipal Corporation was 75.32% to 69.68%, and the same in East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) was 81.83% to 76.17%,” Nitai Mehta, Managing Trustee, Praja Foundation, said.
The data was acquired through Right to Information (RTI) applications to the corporations, he said.
“There was a decline even in the number of questions asked by the councillors in the House meetings and the quality of discussions by them. We measured this by comparing the issues they raised in the meetings with the kind of complaints lodged through MCD helplines by the public,” said Milind Mhaske, a member of the foundation.
“While the complaints were regarding local problems like sewers, potholes, hospitals/health facilities, illegal hawking, etc., many councillors were found only criticising policies of the AAP-led Delhi government or BJP-led central government, depending on the political party they belonged to,” Mhaske added.
Praja Foundation conducted interviews with 27,121 citizens of Delhi across the 272 municipal wards and enquired about their area councillor. They were asked to give their opinion on how “accessible their municipal leader is, the works done by him/her and perception of being honest or corrupt,” the foundation said.
The report gave scores to the councillors on the above parameters and ranked them. Balram Oberoi of Rajouri Garden (SDMC), Avtar Singh of Civil Lines (North) and Govind Aggarwal of Pandav Nagar (EDMC) were adjudicated first rank holders in their respective corporations. Two Congress councillors, Ved Pal and Yasmin Kidwai, were held as most accessible in SDMC.
Political leaders of the three corporations said they had not seen this report yet and not in a situation to comment. Bhupender Gupta, Standing Committee Chairperson of SDMC, said, “I haven’t got a copy of the report so far.”
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