Wednesday, June 22, 2016

RWA Vs Mohalla Sabha ....... A ROUND TYRE for a SQUARE WHEEL

Bhagidari, Municipal Ward Committee (MWC) and now Mohalla Sabha have all been Adhoc Attempts at Decentralised Inclusive Development of the City ....... all three fostering an Advocacy cum Grievance Redresal System, that RWAs had anyway been performing since the early sixties.

YES, there has been a long standing demand to bring RWAs into a Constitutionally Binding Fold.......  making it mandatory for all residents to pay subscriptions and prohibit operation of more than one RWA in a given boundary, with each RWA having a minimum number of households as members etc.

This way RWAs would have become bound by law to occupy office in a legitimate, transparent and orderly fashion. The constitution of RWAs should make it binding on them to conduct business in a well laid out procedure with decisions being taken in AGMs, duly Audited Annual Accounts presented and office bearers elected through secret ballot ..... with the condition that RWAs would remain Apolitical, keeping active workers of Political Parties out of the RWA fold.

While Bhagidari and MWC took all existing RWAs (Genuine & Proxy) into the fold, to give weight and legitimacy to the voice of RWA representatives ..... Mohalla Sabha makes a clear deviation from this practice. Before I dwell on the merits / demerits of this new experiment by the Kejriwal Government, let me first point out what has failed this city.

MCD …… Most Compromised Duplicity* ……. No government in the past or present has made a concerted effort to set the functioning of this Delivery Mechanism of Municipal Services in Order. Multiplicity of Authorities and an Archaic Operating System have virtually made this behemoth unsustainable.

All previous attempts to restructure MCD have been made with the ulterior motive of gaining POLITICAL STRANGLEHOLD, RATHER THAN TO ACHIEVE EFFICIENCY. Introduction of LAD Funds, Doubling of Councillors and Trifurcation of MCD ...... have all been experiments to give greater clout and accommodate more Political Workers and Babus in Positions of Power ...... adding manifold to the cost of delivery of services, Bankrupting MCD.

There is an urgent need to set Right MCD’s delivery mechanism, RWAs had for years been the eyes, ears and the voice of citizen needs ....... Bhagidari, MWC and now Mohalla Sabha have and can at best ON PAPER be organisationally more binding in holding the system more accountable ...... but WHO CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IF at the end, stands a Delivery Mechanism with a SQUARE SET OF WHEELS WITH ROUND TYRES ?????

Mohalla Sabha only attempts to RETREAD THE TYREBY ADDING ONE MORE LAYER to the existing structure of Citizens Voice ....... ‘RWA’ ....... which anyway have been doing a fair job of bringing to the notice citizen needs, to the concerned departments ..... AND MORE ..... like Security Gates, Health/Property Tax/Voter ID Camps, Social & Cultural Functions etc.

The failure lies elsewhere MOHALLA SABHA I fear, will fare no better than all previous experiments and will only achieve what Bhagidari did for Congress, MWC for BJP and likewise Mohalla Sabha for AAP ..... Rs. 350 Cr allocated will also go the LAD way ...... with the citizens left with crumbs.

Warm Regards,
Rajiv Kakria

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