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