The three civic bodies in Delhi will be merged with effect from May 22, the Union home ministry said in a gazette notification on Wednesday.
The three civic bodies are the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation. With the merger, the new body will be known as the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, according to the notification.
A home ministry official told NDTV that the South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s term ended earlier in the day. The terms of the North Delhi and the East Delhi civic bodies will end on May 19 and May 22, he added.
The Union government had notified the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022, on April 18, hours after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent.
On March 25, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai had introduced the Bill to merge the civic bodies in Lok Sabha. On March 30, the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha approved the Bill on April 5.
According to the amended Act, the government will appoint a special officer to oversee the functions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation. The government will also determine the number of seats of councillors and the number of seats reserved for members of the Scheduled Castes in the civic body.
Currently, there are 272 seats in the civic body. However, the total number of seats cannot be more than 250, according to the amended Act.
In order to adhere to the Act, bringing the number of seats down to 250 would mean conducting a delimitation exercise, according to The Indian Express.
There was only one civic body before 2012, when the Delhi corporation was trifurcated by the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government. At that time, the Congress had said it wanted to decentralise power for better governance.