Give funds, power to RWAs: Kejriwal

Making a pitch for self-dependent RWAs, the Aam Aadmi Party said it will create ‘citizen local area development fund’ for each Assembly constituency of Delhi if voted to power in the “long overdue” Assembly elections.

The proposal for giving money and power to resident welfare associations came at the launch of the AAP RWA wing on Saturday.

The party claimed it is far ahead of the Congress’ Bhagidari programme, which was aimed at promoting civic participation in local governance. The AAP said it will bring a new legislation to give legal sanction to “genuine” RWAs and ensure that the “citizen LAD fund” is equivalent to the MLALAD fund (legislator fund).

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said more power to RWAs will ensure faster implementation and effective use of public money.

“Today, it is seen that the public keeps pleading before officers, MLAs, councillors and MPs for petty works like road repair and park maintenance. The public can themselves get their work done without having to go through government bureaucracy,” he said.

But at the function attended by over 500 RWA representatives, the participants cautioned the party against using RWAs as a political platform.

“The RWA is the only apolitical platform left in Delhi,” Atul Gupta of the United RWAs Joint Action said. He said the party’s new wing should restrict itself to the proposed role as a facilitator.

Kejriwal said his party will leave no scope for external interference, including by MPs or MLAs, in the functioning of RWAs.

“The government will not interfere in the decisions of general body meetings,” AAP said in a statement said, while floating the idea of having one association in each locality.

It said only government notified RWAs will be part of their experiment. “RWAs are mushrooming. We have to ensure that those which exist only on paper are kept out,” AAP leader Manish Sisodia said.

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