Mangaluru, Nov 11, 2014: Karnataka high court’s order to form Ward committees for urban local bodies (ULB), is not likely to be a reality in this coastal city in near future. For, corporators from ruling Congress and opposition BJP complain that setting up such a committee will eat into their authority and decision making power.
The 10-member committee, which is to be headed by respective area corporators, is expected to act as a watchdog and ensure people’s participation in affairs of ULBs. The committee will also have at least two representatives from SC/ST, three women, and at least two members from the residents welfare association.
In fact, while agreeing to drop the agenda in the council meeting held on October 29, mayor Mahabala Marla had ordered setting up a three-member committee to go into the nitty-gritty’s of the draft of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (Ward Committee) Rules, 2013.Senior corporator, Lancelot Pinto, nominated by the mayor to head the committee, told TOI that he will personally visit other city corporations of Hubballi-Dharwad, Mysuru, and Belagavi, where this endeavour has been tried, although unsuccessfully. He would also submit a report to the mayor before the next meeting of the council.
Asserting that the draft rules framed were not proper, Lancelot said it will create a situation, where members could put themselves in direct confrontation with the elected corporator and thereby erode their authority.
The rules should be suitably amended to ensure that the relationship between committee members and the corporators is harmonious, thereby facilitating the overall development of the ward with people’s participation, he said.
However, Dayanand Shetty, CPM corporator from Panjimogaru ward, said that corporation is finding excuses to not set up ward committees."BJP and Congress are not interested in this process, for it will usher in decentralization in decision making ," he said. "Corporators largely take up development agenda based on dictates of their party and not based on people’s needs", he added.