Not one ward-level meeting in 6 years, finds RTI query
NAVI MUMBAI: A recent RTI query by Dhanaji Kharade, Congress block president of Belapur, sought information that the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has not held a single ward-level meeting for the past six years.
The civic body is supposed to conduct an area or citizen meetings twice a year which is mandatory as per the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation and Municipal Council (Amendment) Act, 2009.
However, as per the RTI it has been found out that the municipal corporation has failed to do so yet.
Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation jurisdiction is divided into eight wards represented by 116 corporators from Airoli to Belapur.
“It is mandatory for the civic administration to hold ward level meetings with the public and tell them about the ongoing and proposed civic developmental works and seek their objections and suggestions. However, our municipal administration has failed to hold even a single such meeting between 2009 and 2015,” said Kharade.
He said while the municipal corporation has been involving citizens for the smart city race since some time now, they have ignored to follow the rule which is already in place because of which the residents failed to get a platform to voice their opinions.
Maharashtra Municipal Corporation and Municipal Council (Amendment) Act, 2009, states that it is mandatory for corporators to conduct area meetings at least twice a year. The meeting should be called by the assistant municipal commissioner on the suggestion of corporator, who is the chairperson of the meeting. The quorum for the meeting is voters of at least two polling booths in the ward to discuss the civic issues facing the area.
The violation of the Act is punishable, under which, the membership of the corporator can be cancelled. However, none of the corporators are paying heed to the legal aspect.
“The amendment was made in 2009 with an aim to involve citizens for the betterment of the city by taking their suggestion and understanding their needs,” he said.
However, officials from the NMMC said there has been no clarity about the rule and its amendment.
“There is no clarity about the amendment of the Act. However, we will once again look into it and get a clarification and if necessary will implement it,” said mayor Sudhakar Sonavane.