MCC Civic Group meets DC Sindhu on Formation/Functions of MCC Ward Committees & Area Sabhas

MCC Civic Group meets DC Sindhu on Formation/Functions of MCC Ward Committees & Area Sabhas

MCC Civic Group meets DC Sindhu Rupesh IAS on Formation/Functions of Mangaluru City Corporation Ward Committees & Area Sabhas

Mangaluru : Participants of MCC Civic Group met the new DC Sindhu Rupesh IAS on Wednesday, 11 September, who had visited the Pachanady dump yard earlier on Wednesday along with Commissioner Mohammed Nazeer. Speaking to Tea Mangalorean, Founder member of MCC Civic Group Nigel Albuquerque said, “We asked for the Indore Model to be replicated in Mangaluru, for which DC said that they’ve contacted the Indore waste management consultant, inviting them to visit Pachanady in order to recommend their solution, however the said consultant being unable to visit Mangaluru in the immediate future due to exigencies in that city. DC has asked us for time”.

Nigel further said, “The purpose of us meeting DC however was to submit MCC Civic Group’s compilation of a comprehensive set of GUIDELINES extracted from former BBMP Commissioner Ashok Dalwai letter, in addition to extracts from the Statewide Writ Petition being heard by the High Court of Karnataka in Bengaluru, pertaining to Formation and Functions of Ward Committees, in order that the intentional and deliberate flaws committed in BBMP due to grey areas the KMC Act is silent on, are NOT repeated in MCC. This comprehensive set of GUIDELINES was submitted to Commissioner Mohammed Nazeer before DC Rupesh earlier in the day. Both of them have reassured us to do the needful at the earliest”.

Following is the COPY of the MCC Civic Group’s Compilation of a Comprehensive set of Guidelines submitted to Deputy Commissioner Sindhu Rupesh :

From,
MCC Civic Group,
Archil, Pais Gardens, Bejai, Mangaluru – 4.

To,
1.) The Commissioner,
Mangaluru City Corporation
Mangaluru

2.) The Deputy Commissioner, Dakshina Kannada District,
Deputy Commissioner’s Office,
Mangaluru

Subject: Formation and Functions of Ward Committees and Area Sabhas of Mangaluru City Corporation.

References:
1.) HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA, BENGALURU WP 53244/2018 JUDGEMENT DATED 8TH AUGUST 2019.

2.) STATEWIDE WP 21493/2019 BEING HEARD BY HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA, BENGALURU.

3.) Urban Development Secretariat Notification UDD 507 MNY 2012 dated 22nd June 2016 – KARNATAKA MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS (WARD COMMITTEE) RULES, 2016.

4.) KARNATAKA MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2011 – Karnataka Act No. 03 Of 2011.

5.) Ward Committee Rules notified by former Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner- Shri Ashok Dalwai.

Ward Committee Rules notified by former Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner- Shri Ashok Dalwai.

While making the recommendations of the nominated persons, the following points are to be considered:

1.) Appropriate considerations should be given to the suggestions of Non-Government Organizations and those organizations involved in civic activities, as also the local Residents’ Welfare Associations.

2.) To the extent possible, representations in the Ward Committees should be made available for all the areas of the ward and for those areas in the ward where people below the poverty line reside. Special considerations should be given to represent women.

3.) Consideration should be given to non-political persons and youth while making the recommendation of the persons to be included in the Ward Committee. This will help in minimizing the political interference in the formation of Ward Committees. You are requested to keep these points in view while making recommendations of persons to be nominated to each Ward Committee.

Suggestions for a Procedure for Nominations – EXTRACTED FROM STATEWIDE WP 21493/2019 BEING HEARD BY HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA, BENGALURU.

While we advocate an amendment to the KMC Act bringing in an elective process for the selection of the Area Sabha Representative, who also sits on the Ward Committee as a member, as the preferred option in tune with the spirit of the 74th Constitutional Amendment, we are submitting the following suggestions, for consideration as an interim measure for nominating Ward Committee (WC) members and Area Sabha Representatives (ASRs):

a. If nomination procedure is adopted for Ward Committee (WC) members / Area Sabha Representatives (ASRs), applications from the eligible persons for nomination as members of the Ward Committee / ASRs may be sought by giving wide publicity in newspapers, and displaying notices at ward offices, etc., giving fifteen days to one month’s time for submission of applications.

b. A format may be developed for the application giving following details of the person:
Name and address with mobile number; Educational qualification; Ward name and number; Part No. and Serial No. of his/her name on electoral roll of the ward; Category under which nomination is sought: SC/ST, woman, general, registered association of RWAs, slum-dwellers or other urban poor groups, such as garment workers, domestic workers, street vendors, pourakarmikas, etc.; Youth groups, etc.; Involvement in civic issues in the ward; Years of social service; Successful initiatives undertaken in the ward;Reason for wishing to be Ward Committee member; Affidavit on whether any criteria for being councilor are violated; Affidavit on any relationship to councilor, whether political party office-bearer, active party worker, etc.

c. After receipt of applications for nomination, they may be scrutinized by the ward nodal officer for eligibility.

d. The list of eligible persons may be displayed on the notice board of the ward office and objections to the names called for from the public.

e. The list of eligible applicants and the objections received may be placed before a Selection Committee constituted for a group of wards, consisting of distinguished citizens of the city/Ward, experts/academicians on urban governance, etc., to avoid political interference in the selection of Ward Committee members and to select the most public-spirited, non-political Ward Committee members from the list.

f. The selection committee may tabulate the names of all eligible applicants, along with their qualifications and details furnished in their applications and place it in public domain. A meeting may be held of the selection committee to judge their relative merit based on their involvement in civic issues in the ward; years of social service; successful initiatives undertaken in the ward; reason for wishing to be Ward Committee member; etc. It may decide on their relative ranking and select the best candidates based on their ranking. The minutes of the selection committee meeting may be recorded.

g. The list of members nominated by the selection committee and approved by the Municipal Commissioner may be gazetted.

h. Deadlines need to be fixed in the Rules/bye-laws, within which citizens’ applications for becoming Ward Committee members will be received by Municipal Commissioners and within which Ward Committees need to be formed after the formation of the fresh Council.

i. We urge the State Government to consider incorporating into the Rules the above-suggested procedure for nomination of Area Sabha Representatives and Ward Committee members through an amendment to the Ward Committee Rules issued on 22.6.2016. Or MCC needs to consider including the same in guidelines or bye-laws framed for the purpose as per Section 13J of the KMC (Amdt.) Act of 2011.

Conduct of Monthly Meetings – EXTRACTED FROM STATEWIDE WP 21493/2019 BEING HEARD BY HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA, BENGALURU.

It has been observed in the case of Bengaluru, that though Ward Committees have been constituted as per orders of the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka, regular monthly meetings are not being held in all the wards. The Rules merely require 1/3 members of the Ward Committee to give a requisition in writing to the Ward Committee chairperson pointing out that a monthly meeting has not been called and asking him/her to call the meeting. But it has been the experience of several Ward Committee members that despite giving such letters, no meetings are conducted by the chairperson and there is no punishment/penalty on any concerned authority for this dereliction of duty and there is no further remedy for ensuring that meetings are conducted as per the law.

Disappointed over the non-holding of monthly meetings by Ward Committees, several citizens met the Worshipful Mayor of Bengaluru and requested her to ensure that Ward Committee meetings are held on a fixed day in the month, namely, the 1st Saturday of every month. The Worshipful Mayor did also announce at the BBMP Council meeting held on 31st October 2018 that such a system should be followed by all Ward Committees. The BBMP Commissioner too issued a circular on 16th November 2018 instructing all zonal commissioners to ensure that a meeting of all Ward Committees is held every month on the 1st Saturday. Despite these two measures, it was found that less than 25% of the Ward Committees met on 1st December 2018 displaying the total disrespect of the majority of councilors to the Constitutional provision and Rule of Law.

The monthly meetings of Ward Committees and the quarterly meetings of Area Sabhas may be called by giving wide publicity in newspapers, and displaying notices at ward offices, etc., giving reasonable time for attendance.

Thank you.

For MCC Civic Group- Conveners,- Nigel Albuquerque, Ajoy D’silva, Padmanabha Ullal, Rajendra Kumar, Roopan Fernandes, Arjun Mascarenhas, Rohan Shiri, Jonas D’souza , Suresh Udupa, Gopalkrishna Bhat, and Gerard Towers