Citizens’ opinion on city budget being collected in Mangaluru

Updated - January 26, 2023 10:05 am IST

Published - January 22, 2023 09:40 pm IST - MANGALURU

Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, in association with Mangaluru Ward Samiti Balaga, has initiated the process of collecting opinion of people on how the 2023-24 Budget of Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) should be.

Called “My City My Budget”, people are being given forms asking them to mark the top three among the list of eight priorities that the budget of MCC should focus on with respect to their ward.

The priorities include: ‘Provide walkable streets with well laid footpath, free from garbage’, ‘Provide good roads’, ‘Provide well maintained underground drainage’, ‘Provide proper and regular garbage collection from households’, ‘Ensure garbage free public spaces’, ‘Provide street-lights’, ‘Provide well-maintained parks’ and ‘Provide well-maintained public toilets’.

Santosh Naragund, Programme Lead, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, said the priorities mentioned in the form are broad issues of importance that the Centre has worked out. A vehicle will be moving in each of the 60 wards till January 29 and collect the opinions. “We will tabulate the opinion and submit a report to MCC on February 4,” Mr. Naragund said.

At the meeting on Saturday with ward committee members, who are part of Mangaluru Ward Samiti Balaga, Mr. Naragund said this was the second time that the Centre was holding “My City My Budget” drive in Mangaluru. “Last year because of COVID-19 restrictions, we could not get time to collect opinions from across the city,” he said.

The Centre, he said, has held the drive for seven long years in Bengaluru. This has led Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to allocate in its budget, since last three years, money for each ward that will be exclusively meant for works initiated by ward committee. “Last year the allocation was ₹200 crore. This year it is expected to be raised to ₹250 crore, which would be more than ₹1 crore for each of the 243 wards,” he said.

Kishore Attavar, convenor, Mangaluru Ward Samiti Balaga, and member of the committee of Ward No. 46, said the Balaga will involve the local councillor in the exercise. “We need at least ₹1 lakh for each ward for works specific to that ward,” he said. The ward committee members can make use of their domain knowledge and contribute to development of the ward by working closely with the local councillor, he said.

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