Mumbai's corporators not listening to its citizens, says NGO report

  • Sanjana Bhalerao, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 12, 2014 20:07 IST

In a potentially damaging sign for Mumbai, the overall accessibility of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) corporators has dropped by 27.7% since last year, according to an annual performance report released on Thursday by a nongovernmental organisation.

The impact: Only 26.9% of the questions asked by corporators pertained to the civic complaints lodged by citizens. These and other findings from the annual report card released by Praja Foundation for the period between April 2013 and March 2014 are quite revealing.

For example, the report found 10 corporators have not asked a single question this year. And out of these 10, three have never raised a single question in their two-year tenure. The grades accorded to corporators depend on various parameters such as the number and quality of questions asked, accessibility to citizens and criminal records, among others. There are some positives in the report.

"Corporators have raised their bar of deliberations. Even the percentage of complaints raised by corporators in comparison to citizen's complaints has increased by 28.7%. But this improvement is insignificant looking at the quantum of problems our city faces," said Milind Mhaske, project director, Praja Foundation.

The average cumulative performance score of 225 corporators (excluding former mayor Sunil Prabhu, and a corporator who passed away during the assessment period) stands at 59.47%, a slight increase of 0.94% compared with last year.

The newly elected mayor, however, has jumped from her performance ranking of 44 last year to 1 this year. "I have learnt from my first year's experience as a corporator and thus began participating more in ward-level committees and various meetings and also deliberated on citizens' complaints. I guess this is why there is major difference in my rank as compared with last year," said first-time corporator Ambekar.

At 59.41%, women corporators fared slightly better than their male counterparts at 59.4%.

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