While the particulars of the Development Plan (DP) maybe hard to fathom for majority of the city’s residents, you would expect the elected councillors to have a decent knowledge on the details of the one aspect that would help better the city. Against the backdrop of International Women’s Day, MiD DAY spoke to 10 first time women corporators across all party lines to know their views on the city’s development.
The interactions, sadly, expose the stark reality that the new corporators are not yet familiar with the basic concept of the DP that has been referred to time and again at various civic body meetings. This, however, does not mean that it exposes their lack of knowledge or initiative, but on the other hand it is enough to prove that their male counterparts have been successful at keeping them away from the nitty-gritty of governance and only count on them when their vote matters.
“The Development Plan of the city is remarkable and it will give facilities to the villagers.” This statement was made by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporator from Dhankavadi, Suvarna Paygude, after she was quizzed about the DP. The much discussed and opposed DP was approved on January 7, wherein 79 corporators voted in favour and 59 corporators voted against its approval.
Today, the PMC boasts of little more than 50 per cent of women in the new body of elected representatives. Out of the total 152, the overall tally of female corporators is 78, while that of their male counterparts is 74. However, Paygude was not the only one who was unaware about the DP; her fellow female corporators were also clueless. Congress corporator from Bhawani Peth, Zillehumma Khan, admitted that she didn’t know what the DP is. Khan said that she follows her party’s view and doesn’t know its particulars.
Another NCP corporator Laxmi Dudhane also agreed that she didn’t know what the DP exactly meant. Last year, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, MiD DAY had telephoned women corporators to know what issues they planned to raise in the PMC, but it was their male relatives who spoke on their behalf. When MiD DAY insisted that they hand over the phone to the elected representative, the male relatives said that since the women were newly elected they did not yet know what to say on these issues and so they would articulate on their behalf. However, even after gaining a year’s experience of the functioning of the PMC, the situation hasn’t change.