City ward committees by month-end: Mayor

Two years after the High Court of Karnataka gave a direction for the formation of ward committees in the city, the Mangaluru City Corporation is finalising the list of members for each committee and is likely to form them by this month-end.

“Ward committees should be in place within a month,” Mayor Premananda Shetty told The Hindu even as Commissioner Akshy Sridhar reaffirmed it saying, “We are aiming to get it [ward committees] done this month.”

Mr. Shetty said initially there was poor response from the public in submitting applications to become members of ward committees.

After the deadline was extended, sufficient applications were received and their scrutiny was in final stages. Mr. Sridhar said over 1,200 applications were received for ward committees in all. Each committee would ideally have 10 members, but to start with it was doubtful there would be that much strength. The scrutiny of applications was over and the final selection was pending. “We are looking to finish them at the earliest.”

The HC on August 8, 2019 directed the formation of ward committees in Mangaluru immediately after the elections to the MCC Council on a public interest writ petition filed by Karnataka Ward Samithi Vedike, MCC Civic Group and others.

Elections were held on November 12, 2019 and results were declared on November 14 with the BJP winning 44 out of 60 seats, the Congress 14, and the SDPI two.

However, there was abnormal delay in formation of the Council and electing the new Mayor and the first Mayor [Diwakar] of the new Council was elected on February 28, 2020. COVID-19 pandemic kept the issue in limbo sine then and gained momentum after Mr. Shetty became the Mayor on March 2 this year.

The vedike and MCC Civic Group had made formation of ward committees a poll issue for MCC elections and had urged all major parties to commit themselves to the formation.

Both the Congress and the BJP had promised in their manifesto their commitment to form ward committees.

The committees were mandated by the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act and comprise citizen representatives basically to decide and monitor works in each ward.

Area sabhas comprising representatives from three-four polling booths and neighbourhood groups having less than 100 members from each polling booth were also yet to be formed.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 8:51:27 PM |

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