BMC inefficiency has encouraged citizen activism in ward | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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BMC inefficiency has encouraged citizen activism in ward

mumbai Updated: Jan 17, 2012 01:36 IST
Kunal Purohit

Civic officials may find it rewarding to be posted in, what they call, the lucrative H-west ward, but if there's one thing they dread, it's the citizen activism in the ward.

Heightened civic awareness and an active citizenry are what differentiate this ward from the other wards in the city.

Estimates with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that there are close to 200 advanced locality managements (ALMs) registered in this ward. Unofficial estimates said that at least one-fourth of these ALMs are active.

These ALMs try to resolve almost every kind of problem, be it dealing with routine civic issues such as encroachments and hawker-related problems or taking on popular commercial establishments that have big names backing them.

The growing activism is making the civic machinery in the ward increasingly insecure, said activists.

"The civic body has never been serious about supporting ALMs. It refuses to offer any incentives to citizens for being active in localities through ALMs. It's not just this, it has also tried to scuttle the growth of ALMs in various manners," alleged activist PK Mukherjee.

Many locals believe that the meteoric rise of the ALMs in the H-west ward tells a story in itself - of glaring civic inefficiency, which has prompted people to step out and improve the situation.

Anil Joseph, a member of the Perry Road ALM, accepts that the ALMs are elitist in their approach because they consist of mostly middle and upper-middle class residents.

"The movement started in residential areas and somehow got restricted to these areas. The movement is largely inclusive, but there are exceptions," said Joseph.