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Post-poll initiative: Mohalla panels plan watchdog groups

Citizen-Watch Groups proposed to keep eye on irregularities, pass on info for civic body to take appropriate action

If a proposal by members of Model Colony and National Society for Clean Cities (NSCC) to set up a vigilance group is accepted, then all mohalla committees in the city will soon have a separate Citizen-Watch Group to keep a check on irregularities in their area. There are about 50 mohalla committees across the city.


Together we will: Members of various mohalla commitees who have
proposed the setting up of Citizen-Watch Groups to tackle irregularities


The move to create such groups came after some mohalla committee members from various wards, including NIBM, Magarpatta, Viman Nagar and Model Colony, expressed discontentment over the election results in the wards and accused candidates of not showing enough interest in voters' demands and expectations.

In an effort to bring about change, the committees will involve NCC cadets, students and various NGOs to tackle problems related to electricity, sewage, crime, roads, cleanliness, encroachment and illegal construction, among other issues, with the cooperation of the corporation leaders from their respective areas.

According to the members, it is an effort to reach out to citizens to convince them that cleanliness of the city is the responsibility of each individual residing here and to counter the people's representatives who show disinterest once elected.

"Citizens' participation should be there in every project and there's a law under the corporation to involve citizens as their money is utilised in the project. The students and NGOs who are willing to work on hourly basis will keep a check on all irregularities and inform the residents, who in turn will apprise the civic authority of the problems through SMS or by posting it on their website," said Shyamala Desai, secretary of the Model Colony committee. "The city's planning was done in 1967, but Pune doesn't look like a planned city anymore. We have already received verbal acceptance from the PMC authority under Additional Commissioner Naresh Zurmure to start the groups."

Civic body receptive
According to Zurmure, such a pressure group is required in all areas. "If they tell us specifically where the action needs to be taken, we act immediately and that is what we have been doing regularly. It's the city of the citizens and I'll inform all corporators to cooperate with the Citizen-Watch Group," he said.

50
The approximate number of mohalla committees across the city

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