City anchor: Now,corporators want to globe-trot on ‘educational tours’

Now,corporators want to go on international study tours. They claim these trips will ultimately benefit the city.

Written by Alison Saldanha | Published:May 2, 2013 1:28 am

Now,corporators want to go on international study tours. They claim these trips will ultimately benefit the city. A proposal tabled by Shiv Sena corporator Abhishek Ghosalkar,son of Shiv Sena MLA Vinod Ghosalkar,says BMC should include corporators in educational trips senior civic officers undertake through Citynet — a network of local authorities across Asia-Pacific.

“This organisation has taken BMC’s officers to various countries to acquire information on generating electricity from garbage,capturing solar energy,sewage treatment,etc. However,we are the ones who work with common people. Naturally,we should also get exposure to such projects,” read the proposal.

Citynet aims at helping local governments improve their domain’s sustainability.

“While BMC is the vice president of Citynet,the civic administration has undertaken less than five tours in the last three years,” said a civic official,adding that the corporation has other agencies through which it undertakes tours. Mainly senior civic officers such as the municipal commissioner,additional municipal commissioners and senior engineers embark on these organised ‘study tours’.

In July 2012,Mayor Sunil Prabhu and a few corporators (who had to foot their own bills),travelled to Singapore for the much-hyped ‘Mayor Forum 2012’. On their return,the mayor proposed a system for generating electricity by recycling garbage and reusing water treated in innovative sewage treatment plants. Almost a year later,the corporation is yet to consider implementing the proposed mechanisms.

BMC has also sanctioned tours within the country for corporators who are part of its statutory committees. In February,the education committee went to Kerala and in March,the improvements committee to Gujarat. Reports or proposals based on these tours have remained only on paper.

“If corporators are allowed to go on these educational trips,we will be able to bring in more innovations to the corporation. Civic officials are transferred every three years. We are reelected for longer terms and can bring in much-needed change. We can follow up on the insight gained from such tours,” said Ghosalkar. He added that the proposal was formed at an R-north ward committee meeting of corporators from all parties.

In February,councillors asked BMC to provide guesthouses at tourist spots such as Lonavala,Matheran,Panchgani,and Mahableshwar — similar to those provided to MPs and MLAs. MNS corporator Deepak Pawar said current and retired coporators should be able to use the vacation homes for recreational purposes as a break from their “busy schedules and hard work”.

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