The Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday said the positions secured by the erstwhile civic bodies of Delhi in the latest cleanliness survey have once again proved the BJP’s “incompetence" and demanded that the municipal polls be held at the earliest in the national capital. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) shot back, saying it categorically dismisses the allegation that the corporations’ rankings have dropped in Swachh Survekshan 2022 vis-a-vis the previous year.
The AAP’s reaction came a day after the annual cleanliness survey conducted by the Centre placed the erstwhile North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) in the bottom 10 among 45 cities in the country. In Swachh Survekshan 2022, the NDMC was ranked 37th, the EDMC 34th and the SDMC 28th.
AAP’s MCD election in-charge Durgesh Pathak said Delhi’s rank in Swachh Survekshan 2022 is a “matter of shame", adding that it has once again proved the “incompetence of the BJP, which has been ruling the MCD for 15 years". “The BJP has brought shame to Delhi yet again. The BJP-ruled MCD has been adjudged as the worst of the lot in the swachhta survey this year," he said.
The MCD, in a statement, pointed out that the erstwhile SDMC has bagged the 28th rank, which is three ranks better than its position last year, the EDMC has got the 34th rank, which is an improvement of six ranks, and the NDMC has got the 37th rank, which is a substantive improvement of eight ranks than its last year’s performance in the category of cities with a population of more than 10 lakh. In the previous edition of the survey, the NDMC was ranked 45th, the EDMC 40th and the SDMC 31st.
“Thus, to say that the MCD’s ranks have only fallen in the last five-six years is not only a falsehood but also discredits the efforts put in by individuals, RWAs/MTAs and civil society to make Delhi clean," the civic body said. In the last few years, “no efforts have been missed in crippling the civic corporations" of the city, it alleged, adding that funds under various heads were not provided regularly.
Despite these hardships, all the erstwhile corporations have “improved their previous year’s rankings", the MCD said. “We are pleased to see the civic bodies climbing up the ladder. Various initiatives taken by the three corporations until they merged into one MCD, particularly by the SDMC, have paid off. Next year, we would like to see ourselves among the top contenders," a senior civic official had said on Saturday after the results of the survey were announced.
All three erstwhile municipal corporations were ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) till their unification as the MCD in May. Pathak, the MLA from Rajinder Nagar, alleged that the MCD, under the saffron party, has made the capital a centre of garbage and dirt.
“Today, there is a garbage problem all across Delhi and people want to get rid of it. We demand that the MCD polls are held at the earliest," he said, asserting that the Arvind Kejriwal-led party will record a landslide victory in the election and transform the MCD. If voted to power, the AAP will make Delhi the cleanest city, Pathak added.
Polls to reconstitute a new civic body are yet to be announced by the BJP-led Centre. However, hoping that the election will be held by the year-end, the AAP’s Delhi unit has intensified its preparations.
With an eye on the MCD polls, the AAP launched a month-long campaign recently to corner the BJP on various civic issues, primarily cleanliness.