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MCD Elections 2022: Sanitation, Primary Education Key Issues

Among the 60,000 sanitation workers in the MCD, more than 30,000 workers have been working on a temporary basis since 1998, as per sources. Read More

Sunday November 13, 2022 2:28 PM, IANS

MCD Elections 2022: Sanitation, Primary Education Key Issues

New Delhi: The stakes are high for the BJP and the AAP in the battle of the hustings for the largest municipal body which has an annual budget of over Rs 15,000 crore for 250 wards.

Sanitation

However, the issues of sanitation and primary education that come under the Municipal Corporation have surfaced at regular intervals before the civic elections as despite a sizable amount sanctioned for these sectors in the financial year 2022-23, the situation on the ground has remained the same for years.

The allocation for sanitation stands at Rs 4,153.28 crore which is 27.19 per cent of the total budget, while Rs 2,632.78 crore was sanctioned for education in the Financial Year 2022-2023. However, the civic body has failed to ensure basic amenities including sanitation and primary education in the national capital.

MCD Source of Income

The main source of income for the MCD is the tax collected from property besides advertisement revenue, toll tax, and fee from car parking and from mobile phone towers. Property tax remains one of the main sources of revenue for the MCD and most of it is collected from South Delhi. The total property tax collection for 2021-22 was Rs 2,032 crore and around 11.50 lakh properties paid the tax during 2021-22.

Despite the allocation of 27.19 per cent for sanitation in its budget, there have been several instances when the sanitation workers have gone on strike due to either a delay in their salaries or the non-payment of their dues.

Strike by sanitation workers

In June this year, hundreds of sanitation workers had gathered outside the MCD headquarters with demands such as retention of temporary workers, end of delay in salary payment, housing for workers, hiring of new workers, distribution of bonus.

In October, several sanitation workers under the MCD, who were on indefinite strike for regularisation of their services, called off the protest after reaching an agreement with the civic body officials.

Over 10,000 sanitation workers -- who are working on a contractual and permanent basis -- were part of the indefinite strike. The salary of a temporary worker is Rs 12,000 per month.

Among the 60,000 sanitation workers in the MCD, more than 30,000 workers have been working on a temporary basis since 1998, as per sources.



The workers on strike had refused to collect waste and sweep the streets saying that the MCD had made "empty promises for over 20 years".

Education

Meanwhile, education has been on every party's manifesto. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress have very aggressively targeted the ruling BJP for its failure to improve the dilapidated condition of its schools and garbage mountains. On the other hand the BJP keeps on blaming the Delhi government for "stalling" development by not releasing funds as recommended by the finance commission.

Recently, a National Achievement Survey (NAS) report highlighted the poor performance of its schools at the class III level.

The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights had also issued a notice to the Municipal Corporation seeking an explanation.

National Achievement Survey

The National Achievement Survey was conducted in November 2021 for students in classes III, V and VIII and its findings were released this year in May.

The NAS class III results had painted a dismal picture of teaching and learning in municipal schools. The class III results of MCD schools were below the national average in three subjects -- Language, Maths and Environmental Studies, as per the NAS.

The erstwhile three civic bodies -- North, East and South Delhi Municipal Corporations -- were reunified as the Municipal Corporation of Delhi on May 22 with IAS officers Ashwani Kumar and Gyanesh Bharti assuming charge as the new municipality's special officer and commissioner, respectively.

As this election on December 4 will set the political narrative in the national capital for the next assembly and parliamentary elections, all the three parties, the BJP, AAP, and the Congress have sounded the poll bugle promising an agenda especially highlighting sanitation, education and garbage as major issues the civic agency needs to address.

The saffron party is leaving no stone unturned to remain in power. AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has targeted the BJP, saying that sanitation will be the main issue in the election.

Last month, Union Home Minister Amit Shah came down heavily on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accusing the AAP government of "step-motherly treatment" to the erstwhile three Delhi civic bodies, and claimed that it owed them Rs 40,000 crore.

Shah added that in the next MCD elections, the people of Delhi will have to decide if they want to be 'AAP-nirbhar' or 'Aatmanirbhar'.

 

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