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THE NEW DELHI MUNICIPAL COUNCIL ACT, 1994

INTRODUCTION

     The earlier city was known as 'Dilli' or 'Dili', later on it was called 'Dehli' and now it is spelt as Delhi. Dilli is ancient city of great historic importance. Dilli has seen many ups and downs of history. Some claim that Dilli is an accidental or chance find whereas others justify it on geographical and strategical locational view point. The city of Pandavas founded some 3,500 years ago, has witnessed at least thirteen periods of growth, prosperity and decline. Today, fourteenth time Delhi is the capital city of Independent India. Indraprastha, the renowned city of Pandavas was probably founded in the 10th century BC. King Yudhisthira, the eldest of Pandava brothers, decided to abandon it after intercepting the presence of a fly on the food which was brought for him to eat, thinking it as a bad omen. Again, after Mauryan King Raja Dilu or Dhilu, from whom Delhi is said to have derived its name, the city fell into oblivion for about 750 years.

     After Prithvi Raj, the Ruler of Delhi, the city came under Muslim rulers. In 1325 AD, Mohammed-bin-Tughlaq succeeded his father Ghias-ud-din who was founder of city of Tughlakabad which was never fully occupied for want of adequate supply of water. He twice attempted to shift his capital with its entire population from Delhi to Daulatabad some 800 miles away from Delhi in Deccan. The reign of Mohammed-bin-Tughlak was the dark period for the city and full of sorrows and horrors for the inhabitants who had to suffer untold miseries in shifting from one place to another. After Tughlaq dynasty Timur came into power, but this period is of some confusion out of which the Sayyed dynasty and the Lodis, emerged as rulers. Mughal King Humayun son of Babar built his capital on the site of Indraprastha names as Din Panah in the year 1553. Again, after the death of King Humayun, Akbar and his son Jahangir, resided at Agra from 1556 AD to 1627 AD neglecting the city of Dilli completely. It was given as an estate to the Sayyed Kamal, the son of a Bokhara noble.

     Shahajahan ascended the throne of Delhi in 1628. By this time the Mughals had been in power for nearby a century. During this period Shahajahan shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi and laid foundation of city of Shahjahanabad. Red Fort and Jama Masjid were also built up to give a magnificent shape to the capital. Marathas raided Dilli in the middle of 1737 AD and in 1739 AD Nadir Shah, a Persian, invaded Delhi. Between 1757-1761 AD, a civil war broke out between two rival ministers, followed by invasion by Afghans and an attack by Marathas. In 1757, Delhi ceased to be the capital of India. The decline of the Mughal Empire became visible during reign of Aurangzeb and it collapse was brought about by growing internal dissensions, external threats and growing influence of foreign powers particularly the East India Company. The British entered Delhi in 1803 by defeating the Marathas in the battle of Hindon. City of Calcutta played a vital role in the 1857 uprising. The Mughal King was tried by a Commissioner and was convicted of rebellion in 1857. By Act of 1858, Delhi became a Provincial town of the Frontier Province and later it was transferred to the newly formed Punjab under a Lieutenant Governor. The Delhi Territory remained as a district province of Punjab for the succeeding 55 years.

     The city of New Delhi was created by Edwin Lutyens, King George V's chosen architect who created a dream city of his own design which neither conforms to Indian, nor English, nor Roman designs but, of course, is Imperial. The new city is planned to have wide trees lines avenues and the gracious sprawling houses with wide roads. The houses in New Delhi were well planned and based on a study. One-storey houses were constructed in Connaught Place Road upto India Gate, Cornwallis Road, Prithvi Raj Road, Akbar Road upto the Race Course. Similar type of ultra modern bigger one-storey houses were constructed along Mathrua Road from Purana Quila. The formal inauguration of New Delhi took place in January, 1931. The city of Delhi is claimed a paradise on earth, but it is as close to it as any city in the world. The Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 was enacted in pursuance of another recommendation of the Commission and the Corporation was created for whole of Delhi including urban and rural areas. The areas within the limits of New Delhi Municipal Committee and Delhi Cantonment Board were kept outside the jurisdiction of the Delhi Municipal Corporation reducing the area of the New Delhi Municipal Committee to 42.73 kilometers. The Corporation, as such, took over the functions previously entrusted to ten local bodies and three statutory Boards.

     Delhi has been given Legislative Assembly and local democratic set up has been established once again after 37 years. With the adoption of the government of National Capital Territory Act (Act No. 1 of 1992), the National Capital has been given a seventy member Legislative Assembly though with limited powers particularly in respect of finance,land and law and order. The Metropolitan Council of Delhi, was an elected Legislature but was an advisory in practice without any discretionary powers and the same was dissolved in January 1990. The National Capital Territory of Delhi is spread over an area of 1483 sq. kms., its maximum length is around 51.9 km. and the maximum width is 48.48 km. Out of the total area of 1483 sq. km., 783 sq. km. is rural and 700 sq. kms. is urban. There are three local bodies viz., Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Committee and Delhi Cantonment Board whose respective area is 1397.3 sq.km., 42.7 sq.km., and 43 kms. For development purposes, the rural area is divided into five Community Development Blocks, namely Alipur, Kanjhawala (Nangloi), Najafgarh, Mehrauli and Shahdara. There are 209 villages in Delhi, of which 199 are inhabited villages and the remaining 10 are deserted.

The following area falls under NDMC

     Babar Road, Bengalimarket, Barakhamba Road, Connaught Place, Feroz Shah Road, Tilak Marg, Shershah Road, Kaka Nagar, Punchkuan Road, Minto Road, North Avenue, Talkatora Lane/Road, South Avenue, President Estate, Central Secretariat, Ashoka Road, Parliament Street, Janpath, Rafi Marg, Jantar Mantar Road, Pandara Road, Shahjahan Road, Rabinder Nagar, Golf Link, Sujan Singh Park, Bharti Nagar, Akbar Road, Aurangzeb Road, Tughlak Road, Man Singh Road, Maulana Azad Road, Teen Murti Marg, Lodhi Colony, Jor Bagh, Ali Ganj, Laxmibai Nagar, Kidwainagar, Sarojininagar, Naurojininagar, Safdarjung Enclave, Brig Hoshiyar Singh Road, Race Course Road, Willingdon Crescent, Kautilya Marg, Panchsheel Marg, Shantipath, Chanakya Puri, Netaji Nagar, Moti Bagh.


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