Mysuru activists to take lead in forming ward committees

In their attempt to realise the constitution of the ward committee in Mysuru, citizen activists in Mysuru have taken the lead in forming a Mysuru City Ward Committee Balaga to work with Bengaluru-based Janaagraha to promote decentralisation of power. Those interested to get involved can contact the activists before July 10. 

On June 11, under the leadership of NGO Janaagraha, a virtual meeting was organised to develop a strategy to strengthen the system of ward committees and participatory budgeting across the cities and towns in the State by networking and collaboration with the city governments, civil society and political leadership, and nurture a strong community of active citizens. 

“It is not an exaggeration to state that what we are aiming to do is similar to the efforts of freedom fighters who fought for India’s independence from the British. In this case, we are trying to get decentralisation of political power from our elected leaders,” a press release said here. 

Article 243S of the Constitution of India, inserted through the 74 th CAA in June 1993, mandates ward committees in cities with a population of more than 3 lakh. It took 23 years to form rules to define the responsibilities and functioning of the ward committees. After filing a PIL, Bengaluru (in 2019) and Mangaluru (in 2022) are finally having ward committees, the release from Bhamy V. Shenoy, Founder Working President, MGP, Malavika Gubbivani, social activist, G R Vidyaranya, social activist, and S. Shobana, former Working President, MGP, said.

“Unfortunately, our city has done very little to form ward committees and area sabhas even after the High Court directed the Mysuru City Corporation to form them within two months on June 23, 2021,” they maintained.

However, for the 6 major cities, there is slightly better progress in the formation of ward committees. In Ballari, Kalaburagi, Hubballi, and Dharwad, ward committee formation is in some advanced stage. In Davangere and Tumakuru, the corporations are moving slowly in forming ward committees. However, in three other cities - Belagavi, Vijayapura and Shivamogga along with Mysuru, there is no word about the ward committees, according to the release.

However, as decided at the virtual meeting on ward committees, the activists have come forward to push for the formation of ward committees in Mysuru with the help of Janaagraha.

“It may be worth repeating the benefits of ward committees to the city. They will definitely begin the process of reducing corruption in awarding and implementing contracts, help the citizens to work with their councillors, to get their grievances resolved concerning water supply, sewage issues, roads, parks, power, property taxes, house completion reports, etc. We can reap all these benefits only if citizens participate in large numbers and come forward to serve on the ward committees,” the activists said in the release.

Those interested in joining the movement can call Mr. Bhamy V. Shenoy on (8861096205), Ms. Malavika Gubbivani on 7259936111; Mr. G.R. Vidyaranya on 9731061861; and Ms. S. Shobana on 9019123803.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 12:27:46 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mysuru-activists-to-take-lead-in-forming-ward-committees/article65589754.ece