NGO Praja Foundation’s report for 2017-2021 has only 22 of 220 counsellors getting A, B grades
Geetanjali Minhas | August 20, 2021 | Mumbai
Citizens’ complaints are one of the most important aspects of a councillor’s responsibilities to take up with the municipal corporation. Unfortunately for Mumbai’s citizens 219 (99.55%) out of 220 councillors did not prioritize citizens’ complaints and issues when asking questions, according to Praja Foundation’s Municipal Councillors Report Card for the period April 2017—March 2021.
Only 22 (10%) out of 220 total councillors have been graded A and B and 90% (198) have received C, D, E and F grades in the overall performance, underlining the need for major improvements in performance. None of the councillors achieved an A grade in terms of the quality of questions asked.
The Consolidated Report Card assesses the performance of councillors from 2017-18 to 2020-21 as the NGO has not been able to publish its regular annual report card.
Ravi Kondu Raja of INC has been ranked no. 1 achieving a performance score of 81.12%, followed by Samadhan Sadanand Sarvankar of Shiv Sena at no. 2 (80.42%) and Harish Ravji Chheda of BJP at 3rd rank with 77.81% score. The worst performing counsellors are Gulnaz Mo. Salim Qureshi of AIMIM with 22.49% score, Sagar Ramesh Singh of BJP with 27.18% score and Parmeshwar Tukaram Kadam of Shiv Sena with a score of 28.12%.
Overall, the counsellors’ performance has remained stagnant at 55.10% during the period under review. Thirty councillors did not ask a single question in various meetings held. Gulnaz Mo. Salim Qureshi (AIMIM - H/E ward) did not raise a single question in the period.
Party wise, the average scores of INC councillors’ performance was the highest at 57.21%, followed by Shiv Sena at 55.88%, SP at 55.05%, BJP at 55.01% and NCP at 51.78%.
The report card also point out that as the term progresses, councillors’ attendance comes down: from 81% in 2012-13 to 69% in 2014-15 and in the current term it has dropped from 82% in 2017-18 to 74% in 2019-20.
In the initial months of the lockdown, deliberations had come to a halt and they started a few months later using technology. From April 2017 to March 2020, an average of 24 ward committee meetings were conducted every month. On the other hand, in October-December, 2020, when the ward committees started meeting online, the average number of meetings increased to 28 meetings a month.
From April 2017 to March 2021 ward committees met 21 times, statutory committees met 32 times and general body meetings were held 7 times a month. Praja recommends that pandemic or otherwise, technology should be used for effective qualitative discussions and the total number of meetings should be increased by leveraging telecommunications software.
It says that in Mumbai, currently there are 24 wards and only 17 ward committees. Increasing the number of committees to match the total number of wards can enable effective ward-wise deliberation leading to higher number of issues raised, quicker resolution of the constituents’ problems. Additionally, the administration also needs to work in sync with corporators for effective deliberation and problem resolution.
“MCGM’s recent decentralisation of Covid management at the ward level by creating ‘Covid War Rooms’ in all 24 wards exhibited that citizens’ issues can be managed effectively and efficiently at a local level and that is where councillors play an important role. During the initial months of the lockdown in 2020, the councillors were actively involved on the field to firefight the onslaught of Covid-19. MCGM and other individual organisations were also working hand in hand to provide immediate relief to those in need. However, what is necessary is for the system to respond in a coordinated and sustainable manner. This can only happen when the deliberative wing meets on a regular basis and is able to regularly hold our government accountable for its actions,” said Milind Mhaske, Director, Praja Foundation.
He added that for efficient running of the committees and to be able to address citizens’ issues in a systematic and efficient manner we need more councillors to transition to A, B, C and D grades while completely eliminating E and F grades of performances.
“With MCGM elections round the corner, we need to understand how our current elected representatives have performed in the last term. Praja Foundation’s Municipal Councillors Report Card can act as an opportune moment to introspect on the performances,” said Nitai Mehta, founder and managing trustee, Praja Foundation.
The gross Good & Services Tax (GST) revenue collected in the month of May, 2023 is ₹1,57,090 crore of which CGST is ₹28,411 crore, SGST is ₹35,828 crore, IGST is ₹81,363 crore (including ₹41,772 crore collected on import of goods) and cess is ₹11,489 crore (including ₹1,057 crore collecte
Climate change rising temperature and sea levels are posing new risks for coastal cities. With population growth rate of 1%- 2% in India every year, Mumbai too is growing and is population will double from 20 million to 40 million in the coming years. The city is also at the risk of rising sea level. It ne
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, MoS PMO, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space and MoS Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh on Tuesday interacted with and felicitated the first 20 All India Toppers of IAS/ Civil Services Exam 20
In a major decision, the Government has decided to grant waiver of ISTS charges to Off-Shore Wind Projects and extend the waiver to Green Hydrogen/Green Ammonia. This decision has been taken to facilitate wider execution of offshore wind energy initiatives, to promote the expansion of Green Hydrogen / Gree
Urging use of alternative and cost effective fuels to reduce pollution caused by vehicles, union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said finding cost-effective fuels is the need of the hour and underlined that use of fuels like bio-CNG and green hydrogen help in protecting the e
The foodgrain production of 3305.34 lakh tonnes is estimated in the current agricultural year 2022-23 – higher by 149.18 LMT as compared to the previous year, according to the Third Advance Estimates of production of major crops released by the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare.