Voters across Mumbai are unhappy with the civic body's performance over the past five years, and say it has done its worst when it comes to providing basic amenities such as clean water and good roads.
These are the findings of a survey conducted by HT, which kickstarts the paper's coverage of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls likely to be held in early February 2012.
As many as 70% of Mumb-aiites surveyed across the city in the HT-C Fore survey are unhappy with the BMC, which is currently ruled by the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine. Only 22% of the respondents said they were happy with the BMC.
An overwhelming 72% said the BMC had failed to do its job when it comes to roads and clean water — the two issues that HT, through its reports and campaigns on water contamination, bad roads and pavements, has been consistently drawing attention to.
If that's not bad enough, 73% of the respondents believe that corruption is affecting the BMC's functioning, while 52% believe the nexus between contractors, civic officials and corporators is the root cause of the civic issues Mumbaiites face.
"The survey results reflect a crisis of governance at the local level. The legitimacy of the institution of the BMC is being questioned," said B Venkatesh Kumar, political analyst. "It's time to think about electoral reforms in the BMC's structure or usher in institutional reforms to make the politicians and the lower bureaucracy more accountable."
The findings should set the alarm bells ringing for the Sena, which has been ruling the BMC for the past 15 years. The Congress-NCP-led state government, too, should be worried as 68% of the respondents said it has not done enough for Mumbai.