MCC to face Legal Action by a ‘Civic Group’
Citizens and activists belonging to various Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) Wards who have formed a group called “MCC Civic Group” have decided to file a legal notice through the court against MCC to immediately form Committee wards.
Mangaluru: The Mangaluru City Corporation actually has to constitute ward committees under the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Act, 2011, and the Lok Adalat, on January 4, 2014, had also directed MCC to take steps to constitute the committees. Even the then Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake had directed the corporation to form ward committees and also to form citizens’ forums, deliberation committees and ward sabhas. But until now none of the authorities, right from the Mayor to the corporators have formed Ward Committees.
Not happy with the MCC for not forming Ward Committees to handle civic issues, members of various wards, to name a few Ward 30 and 31 (Bejai), Ward 34 (Bendore), Ward 33 (Shivbagh), Court Ward, Kadri Ward and others, who have formed a group called “MCC Civic Group” met today, 29 July 2016 at 11 am at High Court/Supreme Court Advocate V Vivekananda Paniyal office on Kodialguthu Road-Mangaluru to discuss on various civic issues faced by the citizens which have not been addressed properly by the MCC authorities. Nearly 30 members of this civic group interacted with Advocate Paniyal, and decided to file a legal notice in the court against MCC to immediately form ‘Ward Committees’ in the 60 MCC wards in the area.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Gerald Towers, a activist and citizen from Shivbagh Ward 33 said, ” Last year under the leadership of activist Ajay D’Silva hailing from Bejai, the Bejai 30 and 31 Ward members had launched a “Whatsapp Group” to discuss about civic issues faced in those two wards. The group had only 10-15 members then. As days went by, many more wanted to join and the number increased. Later a Mumbai resident Nigel Albuquerque who moved back to Mangaluru, and now residing in one of the Bejai Ward took more interest in taking the group to greater heights”.
“With citizens from other wards also wanting to join the group, the “Whatsapp Group” was rechristened as “MCC Civic Group”, where the citizens could discuss and raise their voices against the MCC about the various civic issues that they face daily in their respective Wards. Now the group strength has reached over 100 members, with everyone actively participating in the fight against the slow and unsatisfactory work carried on by the MCC officials. After forming this group various civic issues like road concreting, footpath and drainage work etc through complaints have been rectified by MCC- although not completely done. ” added Towers.
He further said, ” Last month we started a ‘Online Petition/Complaint Blog’ where the citizens could post their grievances/complaints thereby highlighting the various civic issues and then forwarded to the MCC officials to awaken them as to what is happening in each city ward. The MCC doesn’t want to form the Ward Committees for the simple reason that they do not want to reveal the civic work expenses undertaken, so that some of the expenses can be pocketed by the contractors and officials. What a corrupt world are we living in? “.
While concluding Towers said, ” We can’t wait anymore, so we decided to approach Advocate Paniyal, and filed a legal notice against MCC so that Ward Committees are formed at the earliest. Looking at the present handling of the civic works undertaken by MCC, it is simply waste of taxpayers money, where drainage/footpath work done incomplete, road concrete work unsatisfactory, etc etc- and corruption playing a big role. Our intention is to stop such kind of functioning of MCC work- we need Ward Committees to look into and sleuth very civic work undertaken.”
Members present at the meeting were Ajay D’Silva, Nigel Albuquerque, Premnath Ullal (Activist and Retired MCC Engineer of Drainage/Water Dept.), JP Rao (Activist), Rohan Siri (AAP Member), Gerald Towers (Activist), among many others.