Praja Foundation, an NGO that has been monitoring the movement and performance of politicians in the state has decided to publish a manual of sorts, available in both English and Marathi, to educate first-time corporators about the technicalities and nuances of the working of the BMC.
The handbook informs corporators about their role in the municipal corporation. It details their duties, workload and rights. For instance, a corporator is suppose to raise issues of sanitation, road repairs, and even health issues in his/her ward.
The manual also explains terms like ‘point of notice’ (to bring in a notice to represent an issue) and informs them how to properly frame questions. Furthermore, the manual tells corporators how many committees there are in the BMC, what their functions are, and so on.
The 227-member municipal corporation consists of 146 first-time corporators. Milind Mhaske, project director, Praja Foundation said, “Most elected corporators learn the ropes within the BMC through trial and error. The laws and acts at the BMC are voluminous, to say the least. There are multiple departments and committees, each having their own set of rules and regulations — enough to confuse an elected representative. As a result, most corporators are silent observers of proceedings or seek guidance from their colleagues and administration executives. They have little understanding of their responsibilities and are clueless about how to effectively use their powers.”
Rais Shaikh, first-time corporator and group leader, Samajwadi Party, has come away impressed after going through the handbook. “It’s a very nicely-done book that has details regarding the corporation’s functioning laws and acts in a compact form.”
The foundation has already distributed the handbook to corporators and is now arranging camps where it can train them.