MCC Commissioner clarifies on Mangalore Civic Group’s queries regarding the conduct of Ward Committee meetings

8:45 PM, Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

Akshay-SridharMangaluru :  Akshy Sridhar, the Commissioner of Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) has given clarifications regarding the functioning of Ward Committee (WC) in response to the representation made by a delegation of ten members of the Mangalore Civic Group (Regd.) which met him at his office.

The delegation had sought his clarifications on the Ward Committee (WC) notification as published in his order dated 10th February 2022. The delegation consisted of Nigel Albuquerque, Prathapchandra Kedilaya, Suresh Nayak, Oswald Pereira, Gerard Towers, Harini Shetty, Marcel D’Souza, Dilip Vas Naik, Marcia D’Souza, and Harry Rego.

The MCC Commissioner gave clarifications on several queries raised by the delegates.

Monthly meetings of WCs

The monthly meetings of WCs would be on a convenient day of the third week. The third week is the best period, compared to other weeks as the Chairpersons (Councillors) have council meetings on the fourth week where they can ratify the resolutions of their respective Wards. The WCs can meet on any day of their choice during the third week, Sunday to Saturday. The day, time and venue for the first meeting would be decided by the Chairperson and the Ward Secretary, and the subsequent meetings may be decided by the Chairperson in tandem with the respective WC members. Thus, different Wards might end up choosing different days and times in the third week for the monthly meetings. The day of the meeting for each Ward would be a convenient day depending on various factors like the availability of the Councillor and the Ward Secretary, and whenever required, civic agencies like the Section Engineers, and consideration of national or festival holidays. As the staff strength of the civic body agencies is limited, the MCC will not be able to cope if all the 60 Wards were to hold meetings on the same day.

Filling up of the vacancies in the reserved categories– Resident Welfare Associations and SC/ST

The Ward Secretary shall fill up the vacancies in each Ward after calling for fresh applications from the deficit categories. They may fill up the vacancies from general categories if applications are not received for the deficit categories.

Commencement of monthly meetings of the WCs across the 60 Wards

The Commissioner said it is up to the Councillor and the Ward Secretary to start with the first WC meeting. When asked whether he would issue an order for the start of functioning of WCs in the 60 Wards if there isn’t any sign of starting the first WC meetings on their own, the Commissioner replied affirmatively. He assured the delegates that he would issue an Order so that WCs in all the Wards will start functioning in the third week of March this year. He also added that he has arranged for another training session, on request, for the 60 Ward Secretaries by Janagraha, an NGO, in the third week of this month.

Ward-wise budget for 2022-2023

He informed the delegates that the WC members would participate in the next financial year’s budget process of the respective Wards. The Commissioner agreed to the delegates’ demand for providing booklets containing profiles of each Ward, Corporation-owned assets, properties, revenue streams and a high-definition Ward map to WC members of the respective Wards.

Political affiliations and police verification of the selected WC members

The Commissioner told the delegation that not all the political parties in Mangaluru have responded to his directive to furnish information on whether any of the selected WC members have affiliation to any political party. He said police verification about pending criminal cases of all the selected WC members has been received and action will be taken based on the verification reports.

Nomination of 121 Area Sabha Representatives (ASRs) for the 60 Wards

He said the nomination process of ASRs is already completed.

Formulation of bye-laws

On a demand by the delegates for the formulation of bye-laws, the Commissioner responded by saying bye-laws would be formulated and notified as and when required in the future, depending upon the WC experience.

Mangalore Civic Group (Regd.) has an objective to address various civic issues and concerns of the region of Mangaluru city, based on the spirit of participatory democracy and Indian constitutional values and ideals.

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