Community participation in admin stressed

Community participation in admin stressed

CIVIC Bengaluru Executive Trustee Kathyayini Chamaraj speaks at a workshop on 'Area Sabhas and Ward Committees' organised by the MCC Civic Group, Mangaluru, at St Aloysius College auditorium, in Mangaluru on Saturday.

Civic activists stressed for community participation in local governance by way of implementing Ward Committees and Area Sabhas in all the 60 wards of Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC).

“Even after 25 years of 74th Constitutional amendment (that mandates formation of ward committees), the ward-level committees are still a mirage in all the City Corporations (except BBMP) in Karnataka,” said CIVIC Bengaluru Executive Trustee Kathyayini Chamaraj.

She was addressing members at a workshop on Area Sabhas and Ward Committees, organised by the MCC Civic Group, in St Aloysius college hall on Saturday.

Formation of ward committees in municipal corporations was the main feature of the 74th constitutional amendment.

The amendment aimed at giving “power to the people.”

A PIL filed in 2012 questioning the heaps of garbage that remained uncleared in Bengaluru, led to the issue of absence of ward committees being raised in the court.

Finally, with the court order, the ward committee and area sabha rules 2016 to KMC Act was passed and the BBMP constituted ward committees in all the 198 wards in Bengaluru, a year ago.

Unfortunately, the ward committee meetings are not being conducted regularly as stipulated by the Act, she lamented.

“Without meetings, the whole purpose of forming committees is lost.”

She further said that there was a lack of political will to implement ward committees and area sabhas in all the ULBs in the state as councillors fear of losing their power.

“Rules also state that an agenda for ward committee meeting has to be set for the meeting and minutes put up on a public platform such as the ULB website. But they are not being followed,” said Nagarika Shakthi president Narendra Kumar.

Retired engineer
Padmanabha Ullal said ward committees were needed to foster social harmony in the society. The committees also ensured people’s participation in the governance.

“Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt Ltd. which bagged a seven-year contract to lift and manage solid waste in Mangaluru was supposed to sweep the streets and dividers.

‘Agreements flouted’

Unfortunately, the agreements are flouted by the contractor. Had there been a community participation, we could have questioned it,” he said.