Apart from segregation of garbage, Advanced Locality Managements (ALMs) in the city can now also take up civic issues such as illegal encroachments, hawkers, sewerage lines, storm water drains and other utility services.
The new guidelines for ALMs were drafted by a civic committee formed for the purpose last year. Copies of the manual, specifying these guidelines, are expected to be circulated to the local ward offices by mid-April.
“Clarity in outlining the local civic issues that the ALMs can now take up is definitely expected to strengthen the concept,” said Seema Redkar, BMC officer-on-special duty for ALMs.
Till now, owing to lack of a clear definition of the role of ALMs, their responsibilities were often confined to ensuring segregation of garbage in their neighbourhoods.
After successive meetings with the additional municipal commissioner followed by an approval from the municipal commissioner last year, a manual was put together with a clause giving ALMs the right to take up other issues too at the ward level.
“Many ward offices are not aware of the functioning of ALMs. An authorised guidebook will change this,” said Subhash Patil, BMC ALM officer.
Existing ALMs believe it is a step in the positive direction.
“With a clear format that also lists out the duties of beat officers and assistant head supervisors who are appointed by the BMC to work with ALMs, a sense of authenticity is in place that institutionalises ALMs better,” said Rajkumar Sharma, president of Advanced Locality Management And Networking Action Committee, a federation of ALMs in Chembur.
Aftab Siddique, chairperson of ALM – 44, Linking Road Citizens’ Forum, agreed. “Any move by the BMC to empower ALMs is good,” she said.