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SDMC Mayor protests over fund allocation

New Delhi: South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) Mayor Sunita Kangra on Friday staged a sit-in protest in Chandagi Ram Akhara, after being denied a one-to-one sit-down with Delhi's Finance Minister on devolution of funds to the civic body to deal with vector-borne diseases.

Kangra was joined by deliberative wing leaders of the municipality and councillors of the ruling BJP. The protestors were earlier denied permission to stage the "dharna" in front of the Chief Minister's residence at Flag Staff Road.

While Friday's protest was primarily for devolution of funds to tackle vector-borne diseases, the ambit of the dharna also covered general dissatisfaction with funds devolved to the SDMC. Protestors said that the Delhi government is unnecessarily politicising the issue of fund allocation to the municipality.

They added that the state government is aiming to paralyse it and score political points out of the resulting mess that would be created. Councillors said that out of a total of Rs 109 crore allocated for civic bodies in the city to fight vector-borne disease, SDMC has got only Rs 23.57 crore, while NDMC has got Rs 57.15 crore.

Mayor Kangra said that the state government in Delhi has made it a habit to pursue actions that would lead to the SDMC becoming deadwood. She accused the Delhi government of trying to dissipate local administration, which "is crucial for the democratic process" to flourish.

She further said, "The politicisation of fund allocation is against the basis of devolution of funds between states and urban local bodies of Delhi."

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