Special Correspondent

It is the second experiment in

the State

The aim is usher in transparency in administration

MYSORE: The decision to constitute ward committees and area sabhas in Mysore City Corporation (MCC) limits has been welcomed by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals seeking a greater say for public in matters of governance.

Though mandatory following the 74th amendment to the Constitution, ward committees were not constituted though the Congress included it in its manifesto during the council elections held in 2001. The constitution of ward committees in Mysore will be the second experiment in the State after the failed effort in Bangalore where elected representatives refused to cooperate fearing a dilution of their influence.

But the city corporation Commissioner K.N. Chandrashekar expressed confidence that the Mysore exercise would “definitely succeed”.

More over, it is mandatory for cities identified under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) to usher in transparency in administration and involve greater public participation in governance. Constitution of ward committees is among the major reforms stipulated for JNNURM cities the other reforms being e-governance, introduction of double-entry accounting system, etc.

Mr. Chandrashekar said the corporation had received several inquiries after the announcement to constitute the ward committees and a screening committee would be constituted if the number of applicants was more.

The corporation will constitute 20 ward committees and each will have a jurisdiction over three wards and members will be nominated by the Government. But in addition, there will be nominations to area sabhas whose jurisdiction will be restricted to that particular ward, and in all 20 ward committees and 65 area sabhas will be constituted to cover 65 wards coming under the ambit of the corporation. Nominations for the area sabhas will be done by the corporation and persons with credentials and public service minded will be identified, Mr. Chandrashekar said.

H.V.S. Murthy, president of the Federation of Tax Payers’ Association, said they welcomed the decision to constitute the ward committees for better governance. However, Mr. Murthy, cautioned against any move to flood the committees with politicians.

President of the Karnataka Consumers’ Forum Tirumala Rao cautioned the corporation against fielding members from “letter-head organisations” which are bound to surface to seek nominations.