West indian people

Lagging in BMC polls: Ex-corporators and ticket hopefuls speak directly to people

A DELAYED mayoral election in Mumbai has prompted former business leaders and candidates to reach out to citizens directly – organizing programs, visiting residential companies, sitting in party offices late into the week and the weekend.

On March 8, after four decades, one of the largest civic corporations in the country, BMC, began operating under the direction of a director at the end of the term of 227 corporators elected at the ward level for a five-term term. years. Corporations cannot attend meetings, discuss or approve civil works, policies or financial proposals, among other things.

With municipal elections postponed for six months or more, former business leaders from all parties are on their toes, especially ahead of the monsoon season, when water supplies and flooding plague the city.

Sandeep Patel, BJP corporator of Goregaon, who regularly holds meetings in his neighborhood and inspects pre-monsoon works, including nullah clearing and road reconstruction, said he was given preference. Ultimately, people are going to their corporators to solve their problems, which officials now understand, and they will have to solve civic issues and avoid confrontations with corporators.

The former corporations hold daily meetings and call on citizens to contact their party offices. Ravi Raja, who was the Leader of the Opposition in the BMC and Congress corporators, said: “Every day I get complaints related to water issues, not just from a neighborhood but from the whole city. . I don’t have the post with me, but I’m making sure all these water issues are resolved. I keep Duty Officers and Duty Hydraulic Engineers informed of the issue and follow up with them. The municipal authorities were reactive. However, new decisions are extremely slow and risk impacting the development of the city.

While seasoned politicians use their influence to get citizens’ problems solved, such as water supply and garbage disposal by the civic body, it is the new and senior corporate officers who fear a diminishing connection with citizens and miss out on party tickets to the next election.
Politicians from all parties said the main challenge has not been connecting with citizens, but corporators and neighborhood committee funds that have been allocated to corporator positions.

Sheetal Mhatre, a two-term Shiv-Sena corporator from Dahisar, said, “We no longer have the designation, but for the citizens, we are still their representative and I work for them even after the term ends. The main restrictions are that I can’t do any project in my neighborhood, whether it’s new trash cans, funds for repairing toilets, etc., because we don’t have the corporations fund. Citizens expect us to carry out this work as a priority. Elections must take place as soon as possible. Because of the delay, work and citizens suffer.

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