THE PERFORMANCE of BMC corporators, when it came to addressing civic complaints of residents, has seen a slump, a report released by NGO Praja Foundation on Wednesday said.
According to the data collected under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by the NGO on the overall performance of the 221 corporators, 93 per cent of them fared poorly while deliberating on complaints filed by the residents, mostly related to garbage collection, roads and drainage.
“More councillors have asked questions of poor quality in this term (March 2017 to March 2019). While 135 councillors in 2019 received poor grade (less than 50 per cent) for quality of questions they asked, in the last term (2013-16), 91 councillors received poor grade on an average,” the report stated. Also, the number of questions asked by corporators and their attendance have seen a slight decrease as compared to last year.
“The total number of questions asked by councillors in the various deliberative bodies of the BMC marginally fell from 2,609 in 2018 to 2,571 in 2019. Similarly, there was a fall in attendance of the councillors from 80.74 per cent in 2018 to 77.56 per cent this year,” Milind Mhaske, Director of Praja Foundation, told mediapersons.
While analysing the questions asked by corporators in the BMC general body meeting, the report said many questions asked were not related to complaints filed by residents. “If we analyse the kind of issues that the councillors have raised, it shows that their questions have not been congruent to the type of complaints registered in their areas.
A comparison of the questions asked by councillors to the total civic complaints filed in a ward shows that 206 councillors received marks below 50 per cent,” said Nitai Mehta, managing trustee of Praja Foundation.
The report has also highlighted the top performing corporators based on the questions they asked and attendance. They are Sujata Patekar (82.30 per cent), Kishori Pednekar (81.25 per cent) and Sejal Desai (77.33 per cent). Party wise, the average score of Congress councillors was the best in 2019 (61.96 per cent), followed by Shiv Sena (61.61 per cent) and BJP (59.54 per cent).
When contacted, the Congress group leader in BMC, Ravi Raja, said: “The Praja Foundation has recognised hard work of our corporators. In the last one year, Congress corporators have resolved many problems. This will encourage the party ahead of the Assembly elections.”
Shiv Sena group leader Vishakha Raut said, “I feel the survey has been manipulated. Also, who is Praja Foundation to decide on our performance? People will take a call on our performance.” BJP group leader and MP Manoj Kotak echoed Raut. “We don’t believe in such gradation. We are working for people and they know this.”