Soon, you will have a say in how the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) spends your tax money in your ward.
The state government is likely to enact a law that will give citizens the right to put their demands directly before the
civic body and also question the way funds are spent.
The proposal paves the way for setting up Area Sabhas in wards comprising voters of that ward. The local corporator will preside over Sabha meetings and a civic officer will be the secretary. He will convey citizens’ demands and objections to the civic body.
The meetings will be held at least once every three months. Though the Sabha would not have the right to stall works, the process of selecting what works to take up and how the money is spent will be scrutinised by citizens.
Urban Development Department officials said the government was likely to table the Act in the state Legislature in the Monsoon Session that will be held in July-August.
This is in accordance with Central directives issued under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, which provides grants for projects and encourages community participation in their planning and execution.
When the bill came up for discussion in last year’s Monsoon Session, the Legislative Council rejected it, citing the possibility of political interference.
Last week, the Cabinet examined the possibility of doing away with political appointments. It will take a final call in its next meeting.
Citizen activist GR Vora said: “The scheme is excellent because it works at the grassroots level. It will work wonders provided the government ensures good publicity for it.”