While NGOs like Praja Foundation have been making efforts to rate legislators and corporators, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is still not willing to audit the corporators’ performance.
However, it may all change with the civic law committee again deciding to push the BMC for creating evaluation system. Their earlier proposal was shot down by the civic body. Interestingly, the corporators themselves are willing to be assessed despite BMC’s refusal.
Former Shiv Sena corporator Manmohan Chonkar had in 2009 proposed that civic body evaluate corporators who, he said, work for residents round the clock. He had also proposed to honour the top five performing public representatives annually. In February 2012, the civic body had reasoned that it would require a body equivalent to BMC or a higher authority to audit the corporators.
Besides, huge trained, independent manpower will be required to judge 227 corporators annually. In addition, there is no recommendation in the MMC Act, 1888, for fixing parameters to assess a corporator right from the ward-level, the civic administration had said.
But the civic body’s reply has not gone down well with the law committee. “It will be an encouraging effort on our part to see this proposal being cleared. If this happens, we will be able to identify those corporators who are going the extra mile. Though the proposal was shot down, we will push it again,” Makarand Narvekar, chief of the committee, said.
Civic activists welcomed the proposal and sought it to be implemented strictly with tighter parameters laid down to judge a corporator. They also insisted on eliminating every possibility of manipulation in rating corporators based on their parties or proximity to power. “Self-assessment is important in any field. If corporators themselves are coming to fore, then it is a welcome step.
This is the right time for the BMC to rope in NGOs to cross-check a public representative’s work,” James John of AGNI said.
Nitai Mehta, managing trustee of Praja Foundation, was surprised to know BMC’s claim of manpower shortage. “We have a team of only 18 people and still we manage to evaluate corporators,” said Mehta asked.
The report card
AGNI, Praja Foundation suggest BMC follows these parameters to judge a councillor
If he/she is attending ward committees and other civic panel he/she is member of; number and quality of questions asked. Whether he/she is adhering to the constitutional role and responsibility as a member of the House.
If he/she is taking interest in ALM/citizen groups’ meeting.
Does the corporator discloses funds used by him/her in carrying works in his/her constituency.
Is he/she or his/her followers erected banners illegally.
If the corporator is protecting illegal construction.
What efforts have been taken to solve problems of bad roads, unclean storm water drain, poor collection of waste; proposals put by him/her in this regard.