DNA: Mumbai: Tuesday, January 31, 2017.
On February 21, Mumbai's 91,20,811 registered voters will vote to elect 227 corporators to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). These people's representatives are expected to take up your civic issues to the BMC administration and get them resolved in their capacity to make your life better. But there is an urgent need that the corporators study the civic issues pertaining to their constituency, and then prepare agendas and push these in committee meetings in a planned manner. However, not all of them do so.
Several citizens' forums, NGOs and civic activists have repeatedly raised civic issues on their own, and have expressed anger and concern over the apathetic approach of their civic representatives. PRAJA Foundation which releases report cards ranking the corporators each year aims to provide ways in which citizens can get politically active and involved beyond the ballot box, and thus promote transparency and accountability.
The information used to rank the corporators is sought through Right to Information (RTI) queries from the BMC departments concerned.
A senior associate of Praja Foundation said that the administration also needs to start taking point of order questions seriously, and answer them prominently. "To bring about concrete change, the political wing and the administration needs to change from within, which can only happen when it embraces good governance practices," he said.
Based on the data on corporators and ranks given to them on the basis of their performance this term, DNA takes a look at the top five and bottom five corporators of the present term. The top five performing corporators, as per Praja Foundation, are Shiv Sena's Hemangi Worlikar and Sanjay Pawar, Congress corporators Noshir Mehta and Ajanta Yadav and BJP's Gyanmurti Sharma.
The lowest ranked corporators are MNS corporators Avinesh Sawant and Mangal Kadam, Independent corporators Lalita Annamalai and Changez Multani, and Samajwadi Party corporator Jyotsna Parmar.
What did they do?
Hemangi Worlikar: As I was working with the BMC, I am aware of its internal administration, because of which I made many budget provisions for different projects in my ward. I developed municipal schools and markets as well as the firemen's colony in Worli. The sewage lines in Koliwada were in a bad condition, so I made sure they were repaired.
Sanjay Pawar: Citizens have always been my priority. I concentrated mostly on widening of roads and water logging issues. DN Nagar area, which had water logging issues since 20 years was solved last year. I managed to create more water outlets and even clean drainage lines. I discouraged the use of plastic bags. I have also worked towards making my ward environment- friendly.
Nosir Mehta: Could not be reached
Ajanta Yadav: Could not be reached
Dyanmurti Sharma: Could not be reached
What did they not do?
Avinash Sawant: In my tenure I have undertaken 285 major works. I have laid the trunk line in my area which provided 24 hours water supply in areas like Gautam Nagar and Jaibhim Nagar. I have developed temples, built public toilets, auditorium and many other facilities from the funds allocated. Not asking too many questions does not mean I have not worked for my ward.
Changez Multani: I have utilised my funds to the maximum and have spent money from my pocket as well for the ward. In Jogeshwari, I have undertaken beautification and cleanliness activities. Low attendance does not display what a corporator has done for his ward.
Lalita Annamalai and Jyotsana Parmar: Not available for comment
Mangal Kadam: Could not be reached