Lack of peo­ple’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in ur­ban gov­er­nance, finds sur­vey

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NA­TION -

The sur­vey has also brought to light how “tooth­less” mu­nic­i­pal lead­er­ship and de­ploy­ment of less ex­pe­ri­enced ex­ec­u­tives are con­tribut­ing to the poor state of af­fairs in In­dian cities.

“On a 0-10 scale, 12 out of 23 cities have scored be­low four, in­di­cat­ing the pre­car­i­ous sit­u­a­tion of our cities... Re­cur­ring floods, garbage crises, fire ac­ci­dents, build­ing col­lapses, air pol­lu­tion and dengue out­breaks are only symp­toms of this deeper gov­er­nance cri­sis in our cities. Once the sys­tems are fixed, the sit­u­a­tion will change,” Janaa­graha CEO Srikanth Viswanatha­n said.

The re­port has again high­lighted the need to give more fi­nan­cial and ad­min­is­tra­tive pow­ers to may­ors and the need to fo­cus more on gen­er­at­ing own rev­enue to meet ex- Rank­ing of ma­jor mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties (ur­ban gov­er­nance scores) Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 Scores are on 0-10 scale. Score of Lon­don (8.8), New York (8.8) & Jo­han­nes­burg (7.6) ➤ 55% mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have max 2.5 yrs ten­ure ➤ 10 month is av­er­age ten­ure of mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sion­ers ➤ 54% mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties don’t gen­er­ate enough rev­enue to meet salary penses. “On an av­er­age, the cities as­sessed in this study gen­er­ate only 39% of the funds ➤ Barely 39% of ex­pen­di­ture is from own rev­enue ➤ 35% is av­er­age staff va­cancy ➤ No city, ex­cept Pune con­ducts cit­i­zen sat­is­fac­tion sur­vey they spend, leav­ing them highly de­pen­dent on state and cen­tral gov­ern­ment grants. Lack of ad­e­quate rev­enue sources se­verely con­strains the abil­ity to in­vest in in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vice de­liv­ery,” the re­port said.

It also found that bar­ring Guwa­hati, no other mu­nic­i­pal­ity has a medium and longterm fis­cal plan. “The weak state of bud­get man­age­ment is also ev­i­dent in bud­get vari­ance fig­ures (bud­get vs ac­tu­als), which on av­er­age over last three years is 36% and as high as 75% in Raipur and Ranchi,” the re­port said.

It’s not just poor ad­min­is­tra­tion and fi­nances that have proved to be the bane for civic bod­ies. The re­port has also brought out how there is hardly any par­tic­i­pa­tion of peo­ple in ur­ban gov­er­nance. Bar­ring Pune and Visakha­p­at­nam, no other city car­ries out cit­i­zen sat­is­fac­tion sur­veys and Pune is the only mu­nic­i­pal body which has a par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get­ing process.

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