General Body Meetings of any corporation means is sacred house where issues, development and progress that directly affect your life and city happen. Held only once in a month by your taxes, it’s not difficult to analyze the role of corporators in the house but in NMMC the last three months general body meetings has seen delays, absent-ism, irrelevant discussions and wastage of time, compelling one to question whether corporators are serious, responsible and sincere about public issues or is it time to do a little soul-searching. If the earlier general body meetings were bad, the ones held in the last three months have been worse. Consider this: The clock at NMMC has ticked 11 – its time for the general body meeting to begin. But except for NMMC Secretary Chandrakant Deokar, his dept. officials and house attendants – no one has arrived. At around 11:15, Congress Corporator Namdeo Bhagat, his wife Corporator Indumati Bhagat and NCP’s Ashok Patil are the first to arrive. Its 11:20 – NCP Corporator Nirmala Palkar arrives. She is closely followed by Corporator Narayan Patil. The next in line is NMMC Opposition Leader Ramakant Mhatre – he is 45 minutes late for the meeting. So are three more NCP Corporators that include NCP’s M K Madhvi and NCP’s Ramesh Shinde. At 12 noon, it’s been an hour but not even 10 corporators are present in the house. Soon, bored of waiting Namdeo Bhagat decides to sing a line. Shiv Sena corporators Shivram Patil, his wife Corporator Anita Patil arrive and NCP Corporators Saluja Sutar and Kalavati Mahale are nearly 1 and a half hour late for the meeting. Two hours later than the scheduled time – that’s how late Mayor Anjani Bhoir is for the meeting. Chandrakant Deokar, who has waited for nearly two hours, gives the agenda and related information to the Mayor. Finally the Mayor officially commences the meeting. The house has started two hours late. Once again a felicitation proposal has been taken up. Opposition Leader Ramakant Mhatre is speaking even as his party Corporator Santosh Shetty and other corporators keep moving in and out of the house. In fact several corporators like Santosh Shetty and Congress Corporators Prakash Mate choose to stay outside in the lobby more than to be present inside the house. Not bothered that he is two hours late for the meeting, former Dy. Mayor Bharat Nakhate comes and talks to party colleagues before finally taking his seat. This is a peek of how NMMC General Body meetings are being conducted for the last three months in NMMC. Delays, adjournments, absenteeism, pointless debates, wastage of time in felicitation proposals, disproportionate time on condolence proposals and irrelevant talks are making a mockery of general body meetings. The worst perhaps is that even senior corporators rarely participate in discussions, display lax attitude or come in only for attendance. Most opposition corporators and ruling front corporators leave the house post lunch sometimes compelling the Mayor to conduct the meeting without the required quorum. And the chaos often is more over trivial issues than the important issues revolving around betterment of lakhs of citizens in Navi Mumbai. Not surprisingly, opposition corporators blame ruling corporators for the indiscipline in general body meetings. However, in all her modesty Mayor Anjani Bhoir accepts that the ruling front is at fault for not being present on time that gives a chance for the opposition to mock on them. How to corporators justify delays, adjournments, absenteeism, pointless debates, wastage of time in felicitation proposals, disproportionate time on condolence proposals and irrelevant talks that are making a mockery of general body meetings. We spoke to the opposition and ruling front both on this. No points for guessing, that the opposition blames the ruling front for the indiscipline in general body meetings. We also spoke to Congress Corporator Avinash Lad – one of the senior corporators who arrived hours late for the meeting. According to Avinash Lad, they sit late for meetings to ensure public issues are discussed but journalist Dinesh Patil does not agree and says corporators are not sincere enough. NCP Corporator and former Dy. Mayor Bharat Nakhate who arrived over two hours chose to mislead by saying that all NCP corporators come on time and passed the buck of blame on the opposition. NCP’s Bharat Nakhate might have chosen to lie outright but his own party’s Mayor says that NCP corporators do not come on time and remain absent, thereby giving a chance to the opposition to laugh on them. The mayor further agrees that the behavior of corporators was an insult to the house. However, when we asked her that the opposition blames her for coming late for the meeting and she fumbles. Constant reports on behavior of corporators within the house have disappointed Navi Mumbaikars at large. Beyond any doubts the general body meetings of NMMC fail to have quality debate on any subject of public interest. Publicity seems to be the main agenda of corporators and unfortunately they are achieving this through their behavior and conduct in the house than by showing any concrete work.
January 13, 2018