The first civic polls to elect 140 corporators who would govern the financial capital of the country, was held in 1968. Fifty-nine years and 13 elections later, the composition of the local body has changed quite a bit, but the issues that plague the city have taken a turn for the worse.
Seventy-nine year old Neil Creado, son of former Juhu municipality vice-president Blossom Creado, has seen the city evolving through the years. He believes the largest civic body in the country is far from corruption free.
“It is called the richest civic body with a budget of over Rs30,000 crore. It is the budget that most smaller states have. Despite this, its 2017 and many parts of the city are still waiting for uninterrupted water supply,” said Neil Creado, Juhu resident.
For nearly a decade, candidates across party lines have promised 24-hour water supply — a demand of over 60% citizens in the metropolis.
By 1933, different areas in the city had their own local bodies — Bandra, Juhu and Vile Parle. Bandra municipal committee governed Bandra, Khar and Santacruz from 1876 till 1950, after which they were merged with the Bombay Municipal Corporation. Remembering the old times, Creado said that with smaller municipalities governing parts of the city, citizens were happier. “There were presidents, vice presidents and three to four members from each village or community who were part of these municipalities. Each local body came with solutions to the problems specific to the area and developed it accordingly. The present governance system is directionless ,” said Creado, who is also the chairman of Mumbai East Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Bombay Municipal Corporation was formed in 1865 with the aim to provide responsible governance to the citizens of Bombay, which then only included Colaba to Tardeo.
Creado, an east Indian, takes pride in the involvement of the family and community in governing and developing the city. “My father-in-law got electricity to Pali taluka in 1930s and asphalted roads in Bandra. It has been almost 100 years and look at the condition of roads now.”
He spoke about the present electoral system, “I am being objective. It is simple — I want a better Juhu. When my mother and father worked for the city, the area was clean, so was the sea.”
The city goes to polls on February 21. This will be the 14th civic election to elect 227 corporators who will form the general body of what is now known as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
1865: Bombay Municipal Corporation was created with one municipal commissioner and Justices of Peace.
1872: A regular corporation was formed with 64 members, with only tax payers having the right to vote.
1922: Rent payers were also given the right to vote
1950: Suburbs merged with the corporation
1952: The corporation became a fully-elected body
1963: 140 constituencies were introduced
1968: First elections were held
1982: Corporators seats increased from 140 to 170
1983: Appointment of one or more additional municipal commissioners. At present, there are 4 AMCs.
1990: Voters of age 21 made eligible to contest elections. 30% seats reserved for women.
1991: Number of corporators increased to 221
2002: Numbers of seats of corporators increased to 227
2017: Boundaries of 227 electoral wards changed (delimitation). 14th civic election takes place.
2017: Boundaries of 227 electoral wards changed (Delimitation). 14th civic election.