More power, longer term for Mayors: Panel

Mayors of Municipal Corporation of Delhi should have a tenure of 20 months or five years, according to recommendations of K Dharmarajan committee on Delhi Municipal Corporation Act.

The committee has recommended that either the term of Mayors be set as 20 months (in which the post should be held by a woman, an SC and a general candidate on a rotation basis) or five years.

The council will have the power to change the Mayor before a term ends.

The committee has also suggested creation of a post of chairperson for the council, which will be similar to the post of the Speaker in the Parliament.

In its report, the committee has said that Mayors should be given more powers by forming a Mayors' committee instead of the Standing Committee.

"In every public meeting, Mayors perform ceremonial roles but do not have much say in decision-making. The Standing Committee has decision-making powers. Our suggestion is form a Mayors' committee, which should replace the Standing Committee," read a recommendation by the committee.

"The main objectives of trifurcation were to decentralise and bring local governance to people," the report said.

The other issues for which recommendations were sought are: division of wards in to sub-wards, size of sub-wards, strength and composition of ward committees, role of RWAs, who will be a part of the committee, etc.

The committee has suggested that the civic bodies be called Council instead of Corporation.

The committee also suggested functions of the corporations. These are: local distributions of water supply; maintenance of drains; roads; street lighting (on a few roads), childhood and primary education. It said the government should be responsible for bulk supply, bulk sewerage and drains above 1,000 cusecs.

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