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Politicians bend rules to enter MBMC's ward panel via backdoor

Thursday, November 08, 2018
By Suresh Golani

Aimed at increasing the active participation of citizens in the transparent functioning of civic bodies, the state government authorities have made provisions to appoint distinguished citizens with an unblemished record of social service and members representing local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on the D Ward committee panels.

However, in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), former office bearers of local political parties and self-styled politicians owing their loyalties to the ruling governance – including those who tasted defeated in the civic elections – have brazenly bent the rules to gain backdoor entry into the citizen-centric committee of Bhayandar (E). This despite the fact that it is binding upon the civic administration to check whether the NGO is a registered one and has submitted audited accounts annually to the charity commissioner, apart from proving active involvement in at least one social service project related to the region.

Moreover, candidates should have no political affiliations. For the first time after 15 years, there was an opportunity for direct citizen participation to serve as members on the ward committee and contribute in deciding the development plans and ward level expenditures to be taken up for developmental works. “Applications of eligible aspirants have been dumped to accommodate politically backed people. We will seek judicial intervention,” said social activist Ankush Malusare.

All eyes are on now on the final decision to be taken by the civic chief. With the in-house strength of 95 corporators, the MBMC has six divisional ward committees and thus 18 posts are open for citizen representatives.

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