City to get 3,000 mohalla sabhas

Locals to decide development issues

The process of decentralising planning and spending for development work will soon become a reality with the Delhi government clearing the decks to create nearly 3,000 mohalla sabhas.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday that the creation of these units is just a few weeks away.

The colony-based units will prioritise the development work in a locality and each unit will represent around 1,000 residents. 

Locals will meet and decide on the development of their area in such sabhas. The authorities will take up only those development activities which are shortlisted by residents in these meetings. 

The onus will be on the contractors for the successful completion of the project as they will be paid only if locals are satisfied with the work done by them.

While informing people about mohalla sabhas at a live phone-in event on the first anniversary of his government on Sunday, the Chief Minister said they are the “most important way of introducing participatory budgeting in Delhi” as well as a step towards reducing corruption and making people a part of the democratic process.

The Aam Aadmi Party government had earmarked Rs 253 crore under the ‘Swaraj Fund’ in its 2015-16 Budget to be spent on development work prioritised by citizens in mohalla sabhas. Even Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had termed the AAP government’s maiden budget as “the first Swaraj Budget of the country” because it had several provisions for decentralisation of power. 

The AAP government has always supported people’s participation and it even conducted mohalla sabha seeking suggestions from people for preparing a budget for the 2015-16 fiscal.

Delhiites were made a part of the budgeting process through mohalla sabhas that were conducted by the city government in 11 constituencies. Sisodia had said that the city government received nearly 1,500 suggestions and the budget 2015-16 was the reflection of the will of the people.

As a pilot project, the city government gave Rs 20 crore each to these 11 constituencies as local area development fund. The Deputy Chief Minister had said that the money would be spent only if people approved of the work done.

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