The resident welfare associations (RWAs) that were a part of the earlier Bhagidaari programme that was introduced by former CM Sheila Dikshit have criticised the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s vow to create a “micro councillor” in the run-up to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections.
The political parties have questioned Kejriwal’s earlier promise of Mohalla Sabhas in addition to RWAs. The former Bhagidaari programme has been discontinued ever since the AAP came to power, hence the presidents of the RWAs are sceptical of Kejriwal’s new pledge.
Sheila Dikshit launched the Bhagidari method of interaction, conversation, consultation, and partnership with citizen groups to enhance the standard of governance and civic life in Delhi. The program’s objectives were to increase participation of residents as active partners in governance processes, establish a sense of ownership among citizen groups and associations, and create and uphold a vision for a clean, green, and livable Delhi.
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The Bhagidaari initiative was established in 2000, and D M Narang, the RWA president of New Rajendra Nagar’s R block, was one of its founding members. “We, the RWAs, had direct communication with ministers or secretaries thanks to the Bhagidaari initiative. We used to receive meeting minutes following each meeting between RWA and the government representatives. They used to provide answers to all inquiries about the neighborhood’s roads, sidewalks, sewers, parks, and other essential services. Since RWAs and the government no longer communicate, nothing of the sort occurs “Narang stated.
Many fundamental development projects used to be completed in a matter of days after Bhagidaari meetings, according to Ashok Prabhakar, president of the Malviya Nagar RWA. “For instance, once during a Bhagidaari meeting, we protested about the accumulation of trash, and it was resolved within 10 to 15 days. The MCD, discom, and local revenue commissioner used to send representatives to the sessions. The tax commissioner had roughly Rs 5 crore in funding for development, and our neighborhood’s projects will receive priority “Prabhakar remarked.
The AAP is being attacked by the BJP and the Congress for suggesting a “micro councillor,” especially since their last ambitious initiative, the “mohalla sabha,” was unable to go as expected.
To empower and compel citizens to take part in local administration, the Delhi government sanctioned the creation of 2,972 mohalla sabhas across the 70 assembly constituencies in 2016. An investigation by India Today TV revealed that all of the money designated for mohalla clinics vanished.
“Mohalla sabhas were established by the AAP, and money was given to support them, but where did it go? Now because they are unable to keep their previous promise, they are announcing a new one that is also a replica of the Bhaagidaari programme put up by the Congress “said Supriya Shirnate, a prominent member of the Congress.
Adesh Gupta, the head of the BJP’s state unit, too made fun of the AAP and demanded an explanation for the money given to the mohalla sabhas.
“For mohalla sabhas, Kejriwal has allotted crores of dollars. We need to know where the money went because it’s gone. Why does he keep making such empty promises when he is unable to keep them?” Gupta informed the local press.
Elections for the Delhi Municipal Corporation will take place on December 4 in a single phase, with results being announced on December 7.
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