Report says accessibility has dropped by 27.7%
Geetanjali Minhas | September 13, 2014
After getting elected in the 2012 elections, attendance of Mumbai’s 227 councillors has dropped by 6.7 percent and proportion of questions asked as compared to civic complaints is a mere 26.9 percent according to Praja Foundation’s latest municipal councillors report card of 2014.
However, as compared to FY 2012-2013, findings reveal that in their second year (April 2013- March 2014) there is a 27 percent increase in issues raised/questions by the city’s custodians.
Snehal Ambekar, newly-elected mayor and first time corporator of Shiv Sena has been rated as the top ranking councillor closely followed by Shiv Sena’s last year topper Hemangi Worlikar . Gyanmurti Sharma of BJP bagged the third position.
Findings further reveal that five of the top ten performing corporators’ are women. Among the top ten, Shiv Sena has five councillors, three from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and two from Indian National Congress (INC).
Six municipal councillors have asked more than 50 questions during 2013-2014. There is an overall 3.8 percent increase in quality of questions asked, the report said. Compared to citizens complaints the proportion of questions asked has increased by 28.7 percent.
Three councilors - Anita Yadav, Jyotsna Parmar and Lalita Annamala have not asked a single question between April 2012 and March 2013 and ten councillors have not asked a single question in the current FY.
Overall accessibility of councillors has dropped by 27.7% and overall perceived performance has dropped by 11.8%.
In terms of criminal record, as on December 31st, 2013, 50 councillors have criminal record and 34 councillors have criminal cases prior to 2012 municipal elections as per their affidavits. 16 councillors have new FIR’s/chargesheets against them after they have been elected and five councillors who already have a criminal record as per their affidavits have new FIR’s /chargesheets. 41 out of 50 councillors have been charge sheeted.
The average overall party wise score has seen a slight improvement from 58.57 percent in 2013 to 59.41pecent in 2014. BJP is the highest- up from 62.23 in 2013 to 65.26 in 2014. Shiv Sena is second highest from 59.95in 2013 to 60.56 in 2014 followed by Samajwadi Party at 59.95 percent in 2104, up from 52.36 percent in 2013.
Lamenting on the quality of life, which in Mumbai has not improved, Nitai Mehta, founder trustee Praja said, “Looking at the quantum of problems of Mumbai, there is only a slight improvement in the performance of our councillors. The custodians of our city, our municipal councillors need to understand and follow their constitutional role which is deliberation, in letter and spirit.”
He said, “They primarily represent their constituencies and their issues in the corporation and do not execute services provided by the corporation for which there is an administrative wing, which is required to ensure smooth delivery of services by raising issues in the corporation forums and not by taking ‘ morchas’ on the corporation officers .They are the link between citizens and the administration for which they must study citizens complaints, registered in their wards from the centralised complaint registration system (CCRS) and by interacting with their constituents and then raise the relevant issues in respective meetings in the corporation.”
“Even the May 2014 general elections, opinon polls across the country showed that top issues concerning citizens remained good roads, clean water, drainage, sanitation, parks, playgrounds etc. These services are ensured by local self government institutions and not central and state governments,” added Milind Mahaske, project director, Praja.
The report is based on both qualitative and quantitative parameters between April 2013 to March 2014.
Quantifiable data has been collected through RTI. Household survey of 22,580 was conducted .Corpoartors have been graded on various parameters like number and quality of questions asked, accessibility to citizens and criminal records among other factors.
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