As the term of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) ended on Wednesday, civic authorities said after the unification of the three civic bodies, nearly 700 employees will become “surplus” and it will be a challenge for the new system to accommodate them. They said by May 22, all the three civic bodies will be dissolved, paving the way for a unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s (NDMC) term will end on May 19, while the EDMC will complete its term on May 22.
The Centre also issued a notification on Wednesday, where it said the three civic bodies of Delhi will be formally merged on May 22. According to the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022, the Centre will appoint a “special officer” to run the new, unified civic body until the first meeting of the corporation is held.
According to the notification, the Act will come into effect from May 22. SDMC’s Standing Committee Chairperson BK Oberoi said the terms of the elected representatives of the south civic body ended on Wednesday.
He said the exercise of shortlisting employees is already underway, ahead of the unification of the civic bodies. “After the amalgamation of the three municipalities, nearly 700 employees will become surplus as the staff strength is likely to be curtailed by one-third in each department. It will be a challenge for the new administration in the unified MCD to adjust these surplus employees. Their fate is undecided so far,” Oberai told PTI.
He also said the Centre’s notification is likely to bring more clarity on this issue. Oberoi said with the end of the tenure of the elected representatives in the SDMC, those who held offices, including the mayor, the standing committee chairman and the leader of the house in the civic body, will “vacate the chairs”.
“I have vacated my chair as my term as a councillor came to an end on Wednesday. I will keep raising public issues and continue to meet the commissioner and the special officer after they are appointed by the Centre,” he said. A senior SDMC official said the deliberative wing, which is formed by the elected representatives, ceased to operate from Wednesday, but the civic body will keep performing its obligatory duties.
He said there will be no policy-making exercises in the SDMC now and the meetings of the SDMC House and the Standing Committee will also not be held. The official said the Union home ministry will issue a separate notification for dissolving the three civic bodies and unifying them.
He said the normal functions of the municipality such as sanitation exercises and health-related services will continue to be carried out by bureaucrats. A bill to unify the three civic bodies was approved by the Lok Sabha on March 30 and by the Rajya Sabha on April 5. The bill became an Act after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to it on April 18.
The Act reduces the number of wards in the national capital to 250 from the existing 272, which means that the MCD will have to undergo a delimitation exercise before the election. The Centre will form a delimitation commission to carry out the demarcation of wards. Experts have pointed out that given the current scenario, the civic polls are unlikely to take place before early next year due to the delimitation exercise.
The State Election Commission was scheduled to announce the civic poll dates on March 8, but had to defer the announcement. The then state election commissioner had said an hour before the announcement, the panel received a communication from the Centre regarding the unification of the civic bodies.