Proposal for municipal reforms in Rajasthan

Special Correspondent

Urban local bodies expected to become self-reliant

`Legal framework should be evolved for enactment of public disclosure law'`A citizen centric Detail Project Report has been prepared for the first time'

JAIPUR: The proposed municipal-level reforms in Rajasthan under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) are expected to ensure self-reliance for the urban local bodies with the State Government having implemented the 74th constitutional amendment in addition to the introduction of community participation law, stamp duty and urban land ceiling.

While the State-level reforms under JNNURM were remarkable, there was scope for improvement in the municipal reforms, felt the participants in a workshop on "Urban reforms and citizen centric planning'' here on Tuesday. The workshop was organised jointly by the Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and the Local Self Government Department.

The Executive Director (Rajasthan), Urban Infrastructure Finance and Development Corporation, Munish Garg, called upon the municipal bodies to come ahead and get the benefits of reforms under the mission.

PRIA-Rajasthan Project Executive Manish Kumar said the citizen centric planning should involve steps such as identification of stakeholders, wider consultation, and sharing of conceptual plan, draft plan and final plan. Mr. Kumar added that a legal framework should be evolved for enactment of public disclosure law and monitoring of municipal services.

PRIA has prepared a citizen centric report on solid waste management for Jhunjhunu and Karauli municipalities as a pilot project under the Urban Infrastructure Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT).

Mr. Kumar pointed out that a citizen centric Detail Project Report had been prepared for the first time in the State by following the principles of participatory planning. While Rajendra Joshi, Commissioner, Jhunjhunu Municipal Board, applauded the effort and advocated its wider practice, Nidhi Lekha Sharma, Deputy Director, Local Bodies, said greater involvement of people in both planning and execution would yield better results.

Councillors and chairpersons of municipal bodies and representatives of civil society organisations from Jhunjhunu, Karauli, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur, Jaipur, Tonk, Sriganganagar and Alwar participated in the day-long workshop.

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