Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ward committees will be toothless, Charges Lok Satta

The Andhra Pradesh Government Order No. 57 providing for constitution of ward committees and area sabhas contravenes both the letter and spirit of JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) guidelines, the Lok Satta charged today.

The JNNURM had stipulated formation of ward committees and area sabhas with requisite resources and responsibilities as a condition for release of funds to States.

Talking to the media, party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao and Karthik Chandra said the Government had issued GO No. 57 more to fulfill a formality than to empower people.

While the JNNURM envisaged elected ward committees, the Andhra Pradesh Government planned nominated committees. Formation of area sabhas at the rate of one for every 5000 people without reference to geographical boundaries defies any understanding. The proposal to allocate 20 percent of the corporation budget for maintenance works of urban services is too meager.

The Lok Satta leaders recalled their party had fought the GHMC elections proposing formation of ward committees as virtual ward governments. The party promised a per capita grant of Rs.1000 to every ward so that the local ward committee could address local people’s problems with the funds at its disposal.

In contrast, the corporation nominated ward committees would be confined advisory role.

The Lok Satta demanded that the ward committees be elected, and an area sabaha constituted for each polling booth and a per capita grant of Rs.1000 be made to each ward.

The Lok Satta would resort to direct action if the Government did not make amends, said the party leaders.

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