Forum demands formation of ward committees

Independent candidate Rajendra Kumar, who is contesting from Kadri South ward, signs an affidavit promising the formation of a ward committee and area sabhas if elected, at a press conference at Press Club in Mangaluru on Monday.

The MCC Civic Group launched a campaign appealing to candidates contesting the Mangaluru City Corporation council elections to sign an affidavit on setting up ward committees and area sabhas.

Narendra Kumar, president of Nagarika Shakti, told reporters on Monday that the Karnataka Ward Samithi Vedike had decided to make the setting up of area sabhas and ward committees in MCC limits an election issue. “Candidates will get support from the Vedike only if they sign the affidavit promising that the ward-related works would be taken up through the ward committees and area sabhas,” he stressed.

The group will distribute affidavit formats to candidates of all major political parties and independent candidates. Kumar said that even after the 74th Constitutional Amendment and the amendment of Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act in 2011, the ward works were decided by corporators only, resulting in haphazard growth of the city and rampant corruption.

Mandate on formation

“The citizens suffer not only from bad roads, but also bad planning, which happens at the whims and fancies of the corporators. The KMC Act mandates the formation of area sabhas and ward committees in every city with more than three lakh population,” Kumar said and added, “We will create awareness among citizens through social organisations and resident welfare associations to vote only for candidates who promise to include citizens in the ward committees.”

The KMC Act mandates all ward developmental plans originate through area sabha meetings where voters decided the use of funds. The ward committees not only pass the plans but also monitor the work, Kumar explained.

“As the elections are being held in the Corporation and a new council will be elected, we expect the formation of ward committees and area sabhas in all the 60 ward of the Corporation,” he demanded.

“We will make the list of candidates who sign the affidavit public. The people can then decide whom to vote for. Following our PILs, the high court has ordered the formation of ward committees and area sabhas immediately after the election to the MCC council,” Nigel Albuquerque and Ajoy D’Silva said and added, “Another PIL seeking a similar order for the other 10 corporations across Karnataka is pending before the high court.”

Independent candidate Rajendra Kumar, who is contesting from Ward No 33 (Kadri South), signed an affidavit promising the formation of a ward committee and area sabhas in his ward, if elected.

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