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Urban experts and councillors discuss nuances of 74th Constitutional Amendment Act

The event deliberated on the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report titled ‘Performance Audit of Efficacy of Implementation of 74th Constitutional Amendment Act across four states-Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu’.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
June 27, 2022 8:20:33 pm
The event moderated by Srinivas Alavilli, Head, Civic Participation at Janaagraha. (Express photo)

NGO Janaagraha Monday held an online discussion on the nuances of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act with officials and experts stationed in different states.

The event moderated by Srinivas Alavilli, Head, Civic Participation at Janaagraha, also deliberated on the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report titled ‘Performance Audit of Efficacy of Implementation of 74th Constitutional Amendment Act across four states-Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu’.

Alavilli said, “When ‘urban local bodies’ become ‘city governments’ in common parlance, we can then claim that the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act has truly arrived in our country. When MLAs do not understand their role as legislators and choose to operate like councillors, it not only defeats decentralization but also makes our state legislatures weak. Today’s discussion with elected representatives from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Rajasthan once again showed that we have a long way to go for empowered city councils. Councillors are closest to people and understand problems and solutions better than anyone else but their institutional framework does not leverage their knowledge and people connect.”

Former Principal Accountant General of Karnataka EP Nivedita said: “Janaagraha’s role as a catalyst in the reform of urban governance in the country has been pioneering. It has been engaging with all the stakeholders in a consistent manner. It would be fulfilling and satisfying if the urban political executives get to know about Audit reports. They need to know where they stand. They need to know what is ideal and real.”

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VR Vachana, Manager, Advocacy & Reforms, Janaagraha, said: “It is going to be three decades since the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act came into force. While it was a watershed moment in India’s urban governance then, India’s urban landscape has now transformed massively. However, our laws are often not dynamic in reflecting the contemporary realities and requirements. Today’s City Politics conversation also highlighted the importance of robust institutional design in effectively implementing the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. We look forward to the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, being effectively leveraged to truly transform the governance of our cities.”

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Swati Parnami, Councillor, Jaipur Nagar Nigam, said: “The funds are equally divided amongst all the city wards. But the problems and development work that must be undertaken are not the same across all the wards. Hence a proper assessment to allocate funds is required.”

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“The elected representatives are not clear about their roles and responsibilities. Hence there is a delay and difficulty in discharging one’s duties,” said Kalpana Shivanna, Former President, Magadi Town Municipal Council.

“Ward Committee meetings are conducted regularly and minutes are documented. We also have raised the request with Town Planning for conducting a formal training for all the elected councillors,” said KA Deivayanai, Councillor (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation.

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First published on: 27-06-2022 at 08:20:33 pm

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