Proposal cleared by Home Minister P Chidambaram. The process will be completed by January, with the civic body going to polls early April

The long-standing demand for trifurcation of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) by chief minister Sheila Dikshit got a green flag on Wednesday as the proposal was cleared by the Centre. As per the proposal, the new civic bodies in north and south Delhi will have 104 wards each, while the civic body in east Delhi will have 64 wards. A directorate of municipal services would be set up to coordinate functioning of the three new bodies, say Delhi government sources.

"Home Minister P Chidambaram has signed the file, giving approval for trifurcation of MCD," Sheila Dikshit said after a 45-minute meeting with Chidambaram. Delhi cabinet is likely to meet on Thursday to decide on convening a session of Delhi Assembly, where a Bill for trifurcating the civic body will be placed.

Good news for the fairer sex
Sources in Delhi government said the Centre has also approved the proposal for increasing reservation of seats for women in the civic body to 50 per cent from the current 33 per cent. The entire process of trifurcation will have to be completed by January. Officials said the state election commission is likely to issue a notification early February for civic polls in April. The Delhi Cabinet, in June, had approved a Bill for division of the civic agency into three smaller bodies. The Bill, along with a proposal for trifurcation of the MCD, was later sent to the Home Ministry for clearance.

Some think otherwise
"If the proposal that was sent to us has been cleared, it seems the meeting between us and (home minister) P Chidambaram last week was an eyewash," Delhi mayor, Rajni Abbi said. Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta said, "It is a hasty move which will badly affect delivery of civic services to the citizens. The Congress wants to split MCD to gain political mileage in the civic polls."