“Councillors in Delhi civic bodies score low on performance”, says Praja report

New Delhi: The performance of councillors in Delhi’s three municipal corporations — North, South and East — has been on the decline in the last three years in terms of attendance in house meetings and the number of issues raised, a report card released by the NGO, Praja Foundation, said on Thursday.

A majority of the 265 councillors across the BJP-led civic bodies were ranked abysmally in the report. North Delhi Municipal Corporation councillor and Delhi BJP president Adesh Kumar Gupta was ranked 80 (scoring 50.34 out of 100) and Mayor Raja Iqbal Singh was ranked 70 (scoring 53.11 out of 100).

The data for the report titled ‘Delhi Councillor Report Card 2021’ was collated through RTIs and public accounts. But unlike the previous years, this year’s is a consolidated report that documented the performance of 265 municipal councillors from 2018 to 2021.

The average score of councillors of the North Delhi civic body has dropped from 60.50% in 2018 to 57.92% in 2021, while that of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) councillors has dipped from 60.48% in 2018 to 56.85% in 2021. In the case of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), it has declined from 61.5% in 2018 to 54.40% in 2021.

‘Poor attendance’

“The attendance for the North Delhi corporation has come down from 78.81% in 2018 to 72.39% in 2021 and for the SDMC, it has dropped from 79.62% in 2018 to 68.79% in 2021. While the attendance for the EDMC was 82.34% in 2018, it has fallen to 69.37% in 2021,” the report said.

Furthermore, the general body meetings and statutory meetings were “not fully utilised” in all three corporations. “On an average, only one ward committee meeting has been conducted monthly per zone, whereas the monthly average of general body meetings per civic body is only two during 2018-2021,” it said.

Important issues

The report said that there was “no improvement” in the “quality of issues raised” in the meetings. The average score on “quality of issues raised” for the North Delhi civic body has declined from 48.24 in 2018 to 46.01 in 2021. While for the SDMC, it has dipped from 47.97 in 2018 to 45.48 in 2021, for the EDMC, it has dropped from 46.77 in 2018 to 39.75 in 2021 — the lowest among the corporations.

The report said, “Having completed four years in office, not a single councillor across the three corporations has scored grade A (between 80% and 100%) or grade B (between 70% and 80%) in the quality of issues raised. An average score achieved by councillors in raising issues as compared to citizens’ complaints is a mere 38.26% during 2018-21.”

A total of 62,184 issues were raised in the meetings. However, only one out of four councillors has raised more than half of the number of issues — 32,356. The report said that “94.33% (250 out of 265) councillors” who were ranked, “did not prioritise citizens’ complaints in their deliberations”.

North Delhi civic body councillor Ravinder Kumar (BJP), SDMC councillor Abhishek Dutt (Congress), and EDMC councillor Sanjay Goyal (BJP) were ranked first in overall performance in their respective corporations.

Commenting on the report, EDMC Mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal said he had “not seen” the scores and that he was “concerned” about the decline in performance. Mayors of the North Corporation and the SDMC could not be reached for a comment.