'Single authority needed to deliver 18 services'

'Single authority needed to deliver 18 services'

MCC Commissioner Shanady Ajith Kumar Hegde at a stakeholders’ meeting on urban governance organised by Praja Foundation at Hotel Deepa Comforts on Tuesday.

Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) needs to focus on e-governance in order to overcome staff shortage and ensure efficiency in service delivery, Milind Mhaske of Praja Foundation said on Tuesday.

Mhaske was listing the reforms, based on a year-long study, that MCC needs to adopt to effectively improve the delivery of services at all stakeholders meeting on urban governance organised at Hotel Deepa Comforts.

Mhaske said that out of the sanctioned 1,725 posts, 547 posts were lying vacant (32%) in MCC. Thus there were three officials for 1,000 citizens. In Mumbai there are eight staff for every 1,000 people.

Earlier, Team Praja submitting its findings for validation at the meeting, observed that the lack of coordination among multiple agencies had resulted in inefficiency in service delivery.

The City Corporation needs to have a single authority or a nodal authority to ensure coordination among the departments.

The study also found that MCC was dependent on funds from the government. Mumbai was less dependent on government as it raised 72% of revenue from its sources.

Earlier report 

Despite limited sources of income, the City Corporation had achieved only 45% in property tax collection.

MCC Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Gayathri Nayak admitted that some residents were not aware that they were liable to pay property tax.

The findings also recommended the forming of ward committees. In Kochi, a corporators membership got cancelled because he failed to convene ward-level meetings. 

Former corporator Lancelot Pinto informed that a three-member committee including Deepak Poojary and Naveenchandra had visited Hubli-Dharwad and Mysuru in order to submit a report on the do’s and don’ts of forming area sabhas and ward-level committees.

Ward committees

They found that these ward-level committees set up for the purpose of fulling grant-criteria, did not last even three months. “A report was submitted to the corporation in 2013,” Pinto recollected.

Activists present in the meeting including Vidya Dinker, Nigel D’souza, Ajoy recollected with gratitude on how then corporator Judith Mascarenhas on her own initiative had formed the first committee at her ward. Mhaske said the project will be finalised within a year. “The objective behind the exercise is to transform a ‘smart city’ into a ‘smartly governed city’ and ensure improved delivery of services,” Mhaske said.

Bills worth Rs 35 crore

MCC Commissioner Shanady Ajith Kumar Hegde said bills pending since a year were being cleared now. “The bills pending before MCC for payment is to the tune of Rs 35 crore,”  the commissioner said.