91% Councillors asked less than 10 questions, renaming roads prioritized concerns
Geetanjali Minhas | April 21, 2016 | Mumbai
Praja Foundation’s report on ward committees and civic problems in Mumbai once again points to the deteriorating performance of the country’s richest municipal corporation. Findings show poor redressal of citizen’s complaints again proving the inefficiency and laxity of the municipality when it comes to citizen services.
The average attendance in ward committees was a mere 21%. Ninety one percent of all councillors, on an average, have asked less than 10 questions in ward committee meetings in the last four years.
Councillors like Jyotsna Parmar, Ujjwala Modak have not asked even a single question. Against five top complaints relating to issues like roads, drainage, solid waste management, water supply and licensing, the priority of the councillors was in asking questions relating to ‘renaming of roads’. As many as 161 such questions were asked in 2015 and 109 such questions were asked in 2014.
Further, the survey reveals that that the pending questions have increased by approximately 5 times in the last 4 years (2012-2015).
While the citizens’ charter stipulates 3 days to address complaints, it took an average of 13 days to address complaints.
“Deonar dump fire incidents directly lead to questions on the sorry state of civic services in the city. Why does Mumbai still not have a waste segregation system in place? Why do incidents like Deonar happen in the first place? Despite enough financial resources we lack a proactive administration” said Praja founder trustee Nitai Mehta.
Six councillors: Ameet Satam, Manisha Chaudahry, Selvan R Tamil,Rahul Shevale, Sunil Prabhu and Ashok Patil are holding two offices after becoming MLA/MP out of which 5 are MLA’s and 1 is an MP.
“The Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 needs to be modified so that a person can hold only one elected office. Every elected representative in the city represents approximately eighty thousand people on an average. The responsibility of this elected representative is then to represent her or his ward problems and citizen grievances in the ward committee meeting” say the findings.
“MCGM in November 2015 terminated its online portal that allowed citizens to report complaints regarding potholes on roads directly and was about to replace it with an in-house software. However, it now aims to create a Facebook page for citizens to report complaints related to roads. The focus of the administration should have been on centring the already established Central Complaint Registration System (CCRS) through hotline (1916), walk-ins, and online portal alongside social media” Mehta added.
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