In a new poll promise, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced granting financial and political powers besides the status of 'mini councillors' to the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) if elected to power in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
Naming it "Janta Chalayegi MCD" (Public will run MCD) campaign, Kejriwal appealed to the public to vote for them and get their tasks done "swiftly" through RWAs.
Addressing a press conference just few days ahead of the civic polls, he said the idea behind this vision is to "make people the owners of Delhi ('janta ko Dilli ka malik banana hai')".
He said that RWAs will be given funds to run their offices. The real purpose behind this is to make the people of Delhi take their own decisions, he added.
RWAs are bodies comprising of tenants of a gated community or residential complex. They are registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 and function according to their respective bylaws.
In one of their roles as representative bodies, they manage and disperse funds collected from the residents of their respective colonies for the overall maintenance purposes.
For a local body poll, RWAs hold the power to influence their local areas, which could make up for significant vote count.
Kejriwal's announcement comes with the objective of wooing the RWAs right before the elections by promising them the power to spend public funds.
Presently, the area councillors consult the RWAs and other stakeholders about allocation of funds in a particular ward.
However, as per CM Kejriwal's proposal, all RWAs would be alloted same amount of funds which they can use as they deem fit.
In a similar fashion, in 2013, AAP had promised to bring in Delhi Nagar Swaraj Bill wherein "mohalla sabhas" would be set up. These sabhas would be headed by two elected representatives, who would be tasked to hold monthly meetings to decide on where the funds, made available by the government, would be spent.
The Swaraj Bill, however, hasn't seen the light of the day.
(with inputs from PTI)
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