Empower local bodies: experts

Empower local bodies: experts

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyer and others at the 25th anniversary of the nonprofit CIVIC in Bengaluru on Saturday. DH PHOTO

Transparency in democracy lies in empowered ward committees and urban local bodies, said experts on Saturday during an event for the 25th anniversary of CIVIC–a platform that engages citizens and government for better governance in the city.

“Democracy should be directed to villages for better governance,” said T R Raghunandan, former joint secretary, rural development and panchayat raj.

Dr George Mathew, chairman, Institute of Social Science, Delhi, said, “The future of better governance lies in strengthening the local bodies and villages. Development can happen only then.”

Kathyayini Chamaraj, a representative from CIVIC, citing an example of the poor performance of ward committees in the city, said,”Ward committee meetings do not take place in the city. Ward committee members are decided by government officials, not by local citizens. These things should change.”

Mani Shankar Aiyar, former Union minister for rural development and Panchayat Raj, was also present at the event.