This is for not constituting ward committees in the city as mandated by law

A meeting convened by Namma Mane Namma Ooru, a voluntary organisation, here on Sunday decided to file public interest litigation (PIL) in the High Court of Karnataka against the Government for not constituting ward committees in the city as mandated by law.

The organisation had convened the meeting at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to consult people on civic problems in Mangalore.

Chief convenor of the organisation B.S. Chandru told the meeting that the Secretary to the State Government, the Principal Secretary to the Department of Urban Development, the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada, and Commissioner of Mangalore City Corporation would be made respondents to the petition.

He said the petition would be filed either this Thursday or Friday.

Mr. Chandru said the organisation had served a notice to the Deputy Commissioner and the Commissioner of the civic body six months ago for not constituting the ward committees. Since there was no progress to this effect, the organisation would approach the High Court.

He said the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, mandates that the civic bodies having more than three lakh population constitute ward committees.

The Government had issued a Gazette notification to this effect. Many issues pertaining to roads, pavements, water supply, drainage, streetlights, and other civic issues could be resolved effectively if there were ward committees.

He said the organisation would hold an awareness programme on the need to create ward committees in Mangalore North too.

Padmanabha Ullal, a retired engineer and a member of the advisory board of the organisation, said the councillors of Mangalore were afraid that ward committees would dilute their decision-making authority. Hence they were not allowing for constituting them.

The former Deputy Mayor Judith Mascarenhas spoke.

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