We need grant, not loan: Mishra

The Mayor of East Delhi Municipal Corporation, Dr Annapurna Mishra, has a crown of thorns on her head. She is leading the poorest corporation in Delhi with no sight of any grant from Delhi government for its financial viability. The demand of Rs 2,305 crores by three corporations has also been turned down by the Chief Minister. Excerpts from the interview:

What are your priorities for east Delhi?

Education, sanitation and primary health are our main concerns in east Delhi. These are the burning issues related to common people here and we are committed to solve them. In addition to that, parking, greenery, and better drainage system rank on top in our priority list.

What are the hardships you are facing in East Delhi Municipal Corporation?

We have to establish a corporation and perform up to the expectations of people. The first issue is proper accommodation to councillors, office bearers and government offices and provide them facilities to start the work in a proper way. The scarcity of space is major problem we are facing here.

The second biggest issue is finance. East Delhi is the poorest corporation among all the three, but the government has not provided any package or grant to make it financially strong.

What are your financial expectations from the government?

We have made it clear to the government that we need grant, not loan. I will soon meet [the] chief minister and demand a package and grant for our corporation.

What would be the amount of the grant?

We will soon prepare a draft for our needs and mention everything in it.

But the Delhi government has turned down your earlier demands of grant and dues.

We will collectively fight for the rights of the people of Delhi.

How are you planning to make the corporation financially sound?

We will increase our resources and revenue generation without imposing new taxes. The first step would be to realise the unrealised revenue and maximum use of available resources. The second step would be to bring more people under the tax net in the existing system.
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