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Consultation meet on "Draft Ward Committee & Area Sabha Rules"

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Governance
15 Jun 2013 15:00
Asia/Calcutta

CIVIC & ESG take great pleasure in inviting you to a consultation with civil society organizations, officials, elected representatives and ward committee members on “Draft Ward Committee & Area Sabha Rules”, published in the gazette on 11th Jan 2013 (check attachment) and to be finalized soon, in compliance with directions of the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka
Date: Saturday, 15th June 2013
Time: 3.00 PM to 5.30 PM
Venue: Student Christian Movement of India (SCM) House
29, 2nd Cross, CSI Compound,  Off Mission Road,
(Opposite Mitralaya School behind Corporation Bank)
Bangalore 560027, Tel: 080 2222 3761

Programme Schedule
3.00 PM Registration & Tea
3.30PM Presentation of KMC Amdt Act & Draft Rules on Ward Committees & Area Sabhas
4.00PM Open discussion with citizens, ward committee members
4.45 PM Responses by officials and elected representatives
5.30 PM Summation and vote of thanks

CIVIC Bangalore (Citizens’ Voluntary Initiative for the City, Bangalore)
Address: #6, Kasturi Apts., 35/23 Langford Rd. Cross, Shanthinagar, Bangalore 560025
Telefax: 080-41144126, Email: info@civicspace.in, Web: www.civicspace.in

Environment Support Group – Trust
Environmental Social Governance Justice Initiatives
1572, 36th Cross, 100 Feet Ring Road, Banashankari II Stage,Bangalore 560070,
Tel: 91-80-26713559-3561,Voice/Fax: 91-80-26713316,Email: esg@esgindia.org, Web: www.esgindia.org

Concept Note
More than 20 years after the passage of the 74th Constitutional Amendment, its implementation in its true spirit still has a long way to go. The ward committees, that were set up in 1999 and 2003 to bring in proximity, transparency, accountability and people’s participation at urban grassroots level failed to achieve these objectives, given their weak democratic basis and lack of funds and powers to perform the functions assigned to them.

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) made it a mandatory conditionality on the City to implement the 74th Constitutional Amendment in all its aspects. It also enjoined the passage of a Community Participation Law that goes even beyond the ward level and provides opportunities for the organization and participation of people at the neighbourhood (Area Sabha) level. The Karnataka Government passed the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Act, 2011, better known as the Community Participation Law in January 2011 to fulfill the JNNURM conditionalities but failed to frame the Rules to implement the same.

The Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka, as in the case of Environment Support Group and ors. vs. State of Karnataka and ors. (WP No. 46523/2012 c/w WP 24739/2012), directed the BBMP  to form the Ward Committees as per the KMC (Amdt.) Act of Jan 2011. The BBMP submitted the names of 10 ward committee members, nominated by the municipal councilors, for most of the wards of Bangalore. However the ward committees could not meet regularly in the absence of Rules for their functioning. BBMP then framed the draft Rules for the setting up and functioning of Ward Committees and Area Sabhas in Bangalore which were gazetted on 11th January 2013 and which called for objections and suggestions within 15 days.

You will recall that ESG, CIVIC and other civil society organizations had organized a consultation on 16th January 2013 to come up with suggestions for the Rules which were subsequently given by civil society organizations to the Commissioner, BBMP, at a meeting called by him. This consultation is in the context of the proposed new Rules being finalized once the BBMP Council discusses these and sends its comments to the Government.

Various versions of the Community Participation Law have been developed across the country, such as the one by Parivartan of New Delhi, in an attempt to delineate a structure and process for people’s participation at urban grassroots level, with elements of direct democracy. There have been many suggestions for deepening participatory urban governance in Bangalore. But there has not been enough public debate and consultation on any of these or on an ideal framework for bringing in genuine urban local self-governance. The current consultation is an attempt to facilitate such wider debate by bringing elected representatives of Bangalore, concerned officials, civil society organizations working on these issues, urban researchers, etc. on a common platform in an effort to shape the civil society debate and also to engage with key policy-making institutions and actors in shaping the Rules for institutionalising Community Participation in Bangalore’s governance.

PLEASE CONFIRM YOUR PARTICIPATION BY CALLING CIVIC (Nos. at address above) OR EMAILING shashi@esgindia.org

AttachmentSize
CIVIC_ESG_Workshop_Draft_Rules_Ward_Cmts_Invitation_15062013.pdf794.08 KB

Comments

murali772's picture

did consultation happen?

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Members of various civic organisations and Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWA) as well as individuals have appealed to the state government to include their suggestions in the rules of the Draft Ward Committee and Area Sabha.

- - - - Executive trustee of CIVIC, Kathyayini Chamaraj, said the 74th amendment to the Constitution stresses on giving power to the people. But, when the draft rules on the Ward Committee and Area Sabhas were framed, there was no public participation, she said. “There are no criteria to select members. They should not belong to any political party or have criminal charges against them and should be selected by RWAs or trade association to work at the grassroots,” she said.

Kathyayini also suggested that each member of the Ward Committee be given different issues like solid waste management, water supply, health and welfare schemes to manage.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here.

I couldn't go for the meeting myself since I was attending the Traffic Advisory Forum at the same time. So, when I saw this report, I thought I'll add it on here.

There is no mention in the report of any elected representative or government official participating, though the invite specifically mentioned that it was going to be a consultaion exercise including them. One wonders what happened.

Muralidhar Rao

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