What you must know before ward committee meetings begin in Bengaluru next month

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Ward committee meeting being held at Hagadur ward. Pic courtesy: Whitefield Rising; Photograph: Manoj, PA to Uday Kumar, Hagadur Ward Corporator

Now that the Mayor has made an announcement in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Council meeting that Ward Committee (WC) meetings will be held on the 1st Saturday of every month, beginning in December. Now it is up to the citizens and ward committee members to ensure that the councillors and ward committee secretaries follow the WC Rules, conduct the meetings regularly and become accountable to the community, bringing in true decentralisation.

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Below is a summary of the rules regarding the functioning of ward committees which citizens should insist upon. Unless we do this, it is no use blaming BBMP if the city continues to be the way it is with potholes, garbage, encroachments and polluted lakes, etc. Rules require that notice of the Ward Committee meeting has to be issued seven clear working days prior to the 1st Saturday of the month.

The 1st Saturday in December happens to fall on December 1st. Hence, we have to ensure that the notices for the meeting in December are issued and publicised in all public offices in the ward by Friday 23rd November.  Please share with others in your contacts who may be interested.

Highlights of Ward Committee Rules -June 2016

Duties of Secretary of ward committee

  • Meeting date and agenda to be fixed in consultation with Chairman (this has been fixed now as the 1st Saturday of the month, beginning in December)
  • Meeting notice to members and officials to be issued seven days before meeting by Secretary.
  • Forward all resolutions of ward committees to concerned authorities for action
  • Responsible for protection of Corporation property
  • Provide all necessary information to committee on schemes for the ward
  • Have custody of all documents.
  • Endeavour to furnish all information in public domain
  • Rule 4(g): Ensure follow-up action and provide Action Taken Reports on all resolutions of the ward committee

Information to be made available by Commissioner to ward committees

  • Standing committee decisions
  • Resolutions of the Council
  • Budgets sanctioned to the Ward
  • Ward maps
  • Details of corporation properties
  • Details of revenue streams

Information needed for proper functioning of committee

Procedure for functioning of ward committees

  • Chairman shall endeavour to fix a particular day and date for meeting
  • In case of emergency meeting can be called in 48 hours
  • Meeting notice to be displayed in prominent public offices: ward office, water and electricity supply office, public health centres, etc.
  • Steps to be taken to provide link to each ward and meeting notice and agenda on corporation website
  • Ward committee members to give suggestions on agenda one week prior to meeting
  • Meeting to be held in ward office or place near to ward office which enables citizens to be present
  • Citizen to approach chairman or w.c. member for any issue related to ward development
  • If no action taken, citizen to complain to the Commissioner
  • Quorum for ward committee meeting is 1/3 of total members
  • Meetings to be open to the public
  • Videography of meeting may be done by public and posted on social media

Important rules to make ward councillor and secretary accountable

  • Rule 3 – Ward committee shall recommend to the corporation for disciplinary action on those officers who fail to carry out resolutions of the Ward Committee
  • Rule 5 – If chairman fails to call a meeting in a month, one-third of the ward committee members can requisition the chairman in writing to convene a meeting calling attention to the fact that a monthly meeting is due or specifying the purpose for which a meeting is necessary
  • Rule 8 – Establishment of a Disaster Management Cell at ward level

What ward committees and residents can do

  • Pressure BBMP to constitute area sabhas immediately
  • Ensure ward committee and area sabha meetings take place regularly.
  • Plan for your area, obtain programme of works and all other info related to ward
  • Monitor implementation of all works and
  • Conduct social audits of garbage management and other works
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About Kathyayini Chamaraj 24 Articles
Kathyayini Chamaraj is a freelance journalist writing since 32 years on development issues. She is also the Executive Trustee of CIVIC Bangalore since 2005, which works on issues of urban governance with a rights-based approach.

4 Comments

  1. Col.. Fredrick D’Sa. A very very good information about Rules and regulations to be adhered to for effective running of the ward. Commissioner,,BBMP should ensure effectiveness of implementing the same.

  2. Continued: Warning: If citizens do not become proactive, come forward and take this opportunity to improve Bengaluru city and its future, Ward Committees (WCs) may just become like School Development Management Committees (SDMCs), where for want of active participation by parents – Peon attached to HM will become President (his child is studying in the school), local strong arms/pudhaarees/ goons will become powerful members and run the school, locally. This may not be in all schools but most of them have a paradoxical situation as above. Time to wake up. It is now or never.

  3. While rural areas have three tier system of gram, taluk and zilla panchayat governance, urbanites were not having this. Ward Committees are welcome but unfortunately, citizens, at large, are not responding in a positive manner to come forward, become active members and take part in WC meetings for providing valuable good governance inputs to the BBMP. Stop being skeptical, take part and make the system work for you when they have provided an opp[ortunity. Small differences can be irned out, especially, with elected reps who may have their own agendas even while nominating WC members or approving those proposed. Time to wake up and it is now or never because if there is no enthusiastic participation at ward levels, authorities will find it an excuse to make it unworkable or may even keep the scheme in cold storage. Judiciary may also feel helpless to pressurize BBMP on this count.

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