The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may be facing brickbats on its home turf, but that does not stop it from teaching others how to do their job.
The BMC will now train other municipal corporations in the creation of development plans and on issues related to taxation and solid waste management (SWM). The corporation has started a capacity building and research centre for the purpose, which will require final State government approval.
After the creation of the Development Plan 2034 for Mumbai, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) approached the BMC for help with its DP. With retired IAS officer Ramanath Jha heading the DP at the time with a team of officers from the department as well as experts from the All India Institute of Local Self Government, the BMC decided to use its expertise to train the PCMC. Following the training, it was decided to expand the scope of the initiative. Therefore, the BMC came up with the MCGM Municipal Capacity Building and Research Centre (MCMCR).
The centre will train other urban local bodies (ULBs) in various domains where it believes it has knowledge to share. These include taxation, solid waste management, water supply, sewage and urban heritage, apart from the DP.
The BMC’s Civic Training Institute and Research Centre in Borivali is used only to train civic employees. The new centre will include this building as well as two in Powai. The buildings consist of classrooms where officers can be trained, and consist of accommodation and mess facilities. The BMC also has staff in place to impart such training. It will also conduct its own research there.
“Once an urban local body approaches us, we will take the municipal commissioner’s permission and draft a training programme for them. The training module will be tailored to their needs. When we get the permission, such programmes will be run for a nominal fee,” said Mr. Jha.
Asked how the corporation can impart training on SWM when it has not been able to handle its own crisis, Mr. Jha said the BMC handles large quantities of waste that are varied in nature. “In respect to water supply, sewage management and urban heritage, the corporation has good systems in place, much better than other ULBs, especially in matters related to heritage,” Mr. Jha, who heads MCMCR, said.
In terms of taxation, the BMC uses the capital value method for property tax as compared to the annual rental value method that other ULBs use.