It Is A Great Achievement & Way Forward For City: Praja
Women appear to be leading the way in the BMC. Women corporators occupy the top three ranks in the civic report card NGO Praja Foundation released on Friday.
The report also stated that the only two AIMIM corporators elected to the BMC in 2017 are among the worst three performers.
Praja released its first civic report card after last year’s elections when a fresh house of corporators was elected.
The NGO’s members said the report card aims to hold elected representatives accountable by encouraging healthy competition among councillors. It stated that while 13 corporators did not ask a single question in 2017-18, more than 50% posed less than 10. On a positive note, though, it pointed out that the total number of questions asked increased to 2,609 in 2017-18 from 2,235 in 2013-14.
Among the best performers, Shiv Sena’s Kishori Pednekar bagged the first rank, followed by Sweta Korgaonkar of the Congress and Priti Satam of the BJP. “I was not aware of the report card. I have got the first rank due to the unconditional support of BMC officers and people in my ward. They ensure I am able to work for them,” said Pednekar, a third-term corporator who represents Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat.
Priti Satam, first-time corporator from Aarey Colony and Gokuldham in Goregaon, said she attributes her rank to the work she had undertaken in the past one year. “Basic facilities such as toilet blocks were absent in my ward. I followed up to ensure the works were speedily completed,” she said.
Sweta Korgaonkar, who ranked second, could not be reached for a comment though.
Milind Mhaske, director at Praja Foundation, said the fact that women corporators have taken the top ranks is “a great achievement and a way forward for the city”.
Meanwhile, two of the bottom three performers belong to AIMIM, which participated in the BMC elections for the first time last year with two members—Gulnaaz Qureshi and Shahnawaz Shaikh—both of whom were elected.
Shaikh who represents Trombay said, “I do not agree with this ranking. I have always raised my voice in the corporation and it appears that, that fact has been ignored. We do not get funds on time, which delays works.” While Andheri’s Kesharben Patel refused to comment on her rank, Bandra East’s Qureshi could not be reached.
The 13 corporators who did not ask a single question in 2017-18 included BJP’s Kesharben Patel and Murji Patel, Shiv Sena’s Rekha Ramvanshi, Priti Patankar, Rutuja Tari and AIMIM’s Qureshi, among others.
Praja members said renaming of roads continues to be a priority for corporators. “We analyzed issues raised per category from March 2017-18 and found that 320 of these were only on remaining of roads, chowks, monuments and buildings. We wish the corporators would ask better questions which will help make a difference to the lives of people,” said Nitai Mehta, managing trustee, Praja Foundation.