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Corporators gave cold shoulder to Deonar

Praja Foundation report on ward committees reveals members asked only nine questions about the dumpyard in four years

mumbai Updated: Apr 19, 2016 23:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Deonar,Mulund,Praja Foundation
The Deonar dumping ground (Hindustan Times)

Elected representatives, it seems, did not take the Deonar dumping ground issue seriously.

Non-government organisation Praja Foundation’s report on ward committees revealed that only nine questions were raised by them in connection with the dumping ground in the past four years.

In another indication of the apathy, 91% of the corporators asked fewer than 10 questions in the past four years in these committees.

There are 16 ward committees in the city and these committees are set up to expeditiously resolve matters related to civic complaints such as water supply, drainage and cleanliness.

The Praja report, however, revealed that the corporators, who can raise such questions in the meetings, have most of the time stuck to questions related to renaming roads rather than complaints.

The number of questions asked has risen by 52 in the past year, with Shiv Sena leading with 166 questions in the past four years, followed by the Congress with 147 questions. The top-five concerns or complaints of citizens were pertaining to roads, drainage, solid-waste management, water supply and licences.

Apart from corporators, the civic administration has also shown apathy towards civic complaints. On an average, 13 days were taken to address complaints, while citizens’ charter stipulates three days for the same.

The total number of pending questions had also risen by approximately five times in the past four years. On an average, the civic body took 87 days to resolve complaints regarding repair of sewer lines, which ideally should have taken just seven days.

The report also concentrated on the councillors holding two offices. There are six corporators holding two posts after becoming MP/MLA.

On an average, there attendance was abysmally 21% in the ward committees.

Nitai Mehta, the founder and managing trustee of the foundation, said, “The BMC has enough but is unaware of how to use it. The administration should work on how to use the existing schemes and technology effectively with minimum response time.”

First Published: Apr 19, 2016 23:55 IST