After redrawing the ward boundaries for the upcoming civic polls, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to merge various south Mumbai wards for a better administration and speedy redressal of grievances.
Plans are also afoot to increase the number of administrative wards in the suburbs.
With the population moving towards the northern part of Mumbai from the island city, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta has instructed civic officials to study the feasibility of the proposal, which was discussed during the monthly review meeting held by Mehta early this month.
The result of the study could lead to the merging of A,B and C wards of south Mumbai.
All the heads of the departments, deputy municipal commissioners (DMCs), additional municipal commissioners (AMCs) and ward officers were present in the meeting.
A senior civic officer, present during the discussion, said, “We can look at merging A, B and C wards into one – ‘A’ ward. Later, we can increase the number of wards in the western and eastern suburbs where population is moving.”
To avoid already burdened administrative operations of the suburbs, Idzes Kundan, AMC of the western suburbs, and two DMCs will assess the viability of the plan, sources said.
Mehta said, “To improve management and expedite the grievance redress system, I have asked my officers to study the possibility of merging the wards.”
Following the ward delimitation process, geographical boundaries of 24 administrative wards have remained unchanged. Of the 24 administrative wards, only six were left untouched electorally and will send as many corporators as in the 2012 civic polls.
With an addition of five electoral wards to the already burdened administrative system of the western suburbs, the civic officials will end up handling complaints from 102 corporators after the 2017 civic polls.
On the other hand, the island city will send 56 corporators, down from the current 63.
The eastern suburbs were the least affected by the delimitation exercise as only two corporators will be added to the current tally of 67.
A senior civic officer said, “One AMC cannot handle 102 corporators’ complaints along with managing the charge of other departments in the BMC. For better management, an additional AMC for managing the northern part of suburbs can be one option.”
Meanwhile, the BMC will come out with the final list of ward boundaries by the end of the next week. It is subject to the approval form an election commission-appointed committee. The delimitation recommendations were forwarded to the committee after citizens and activists sent their suggestions and objections.