Mumbai: BMC Completes 2 Years Without Elected Corporators

Mumbai: BMC Completes 2 Years Without Elected Corporators

Ravi Raja, former Congress corporator and Leader of Opposition in BMC, said “The local citizens still approach us to discuss their civic issues with the ward officials.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Friday, March 08, 2024, 07:50 AM IST
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Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation | File

Mumbai: The BMC will complete two years under an administrator’s rule today (March 8). This has been the longest period of a municipal corporation without elected representatives in its 150 years of history.

The municipal commissioner, Iqbal Singh Chahal, took over as the state-appointed administrator on March 8, 2022. Meanwhile, activists, citizen groups and former corporators argued that the absence of corporators has resulted in a lack of coordination and delay in several civic works at the ward level.

Corporators In BMC Governance

The city has 25 administrative wards and 227 elected corporators, who are also part of the various statutory committees in the BMC. These committees play an important role in approving proposals and resolutions related to the development of infrastructure and framing new policies. Under the administrator’s rule, the corporation is run by government officials and bureaucrats. However, the citizens feel that corporators are needed to resolve their issues such as water supply, repair of roads and toilets and other work at ward level.

Impact Of Lax Funding and Absence of Corporators, Points Out Cong Leader

Ravi Raja, former Congress corporator and Leader of Opposition in BMC, said “The local citizens still approach us to discuss their civic issues with the ward officials. However, the laxity in funds has raised a question about transparency of the civic administration. In the absence of corporators, several development works remain unattended for a longer period, which earlier used to be resolved within a few days.”

Impact Of Absent Elected Representatives On Civic Issue Resolution, Higlights Former Corporator

Sachin Padwal, former corporator of ShivSena (UBT)said, “Corporators were the medium to bring local issues to light for speedy redressal. Currently, there is no elected body to question the administration’s decisions. There used to be a smooth coordination between the administration and elected representatives, which is now missing.”

Mandeeo Makkar Calls For Citizen Representation

“We believe common citizens should replace political representatives to run BMC, and elections should be held as soon as possible so that people among us can represent us in the BMC house,” said Mandeep Singh Makkar, founder of Chandivali Citizens Welfare Association. Vinod Gholap of Fight for Right Foundation said, “Small issues from water leakage to garbage collection, citizens can approach the corporator. Now, most people are not aware of where to complain or which civic department to approach. At least corporators could be held accountable earlier”, he added.

Dhaval Shah, Andheri Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizens Association said, “Sometimes the people sitting in the civic headquarters are not aware of what a particular area of the city needs. In that case, the local corporator can suggest plans for the development of the local area. Corporators are much needed in the city. Additionally, with no elected corporators, the time taken to resolve the citizens’ complaints is longer.”

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