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How has the new NMMC general body house performed? A one year performance report

It’s been one year to the NMMC elections 2010; which means that the new general body of corporators have completed a year’s role as your representatives in NMMC. How have they taken up the issues that concern your ward, your node, your city? How has the mayor and his team of ruling corporators perform? Did the opposition leader lead the opposition to make their presence felt? How has the performance report card of the new house been? On weekend exclusive today, we analyze, deliberate and speak to experts to get the answers to these questions for a report on the performance of corporators after 1 year of NMMC elections 2010.

On may 9, 2010 when the first general body meeting of the new house of corporators took place – all everyone was talking about was the new house, new corporators, new enthusiasm. After all for the first time in NMMC’s history 40% of the house comprised of women corporators and 34% youth corporators. Not just this, one could see that the new house had a healthy balance of freshness and experience. The freshness came from new youngsters and new faces who won the elections beginning from mayor sagar naik, bahadursingh bist, manoj haldankar, pranali lad, kishor patkar, vaibhav gaikwad, amit medhekar, komal vaskar, madhuri sutar, suraj patil, satish ramane, sandeep sutar, surekha ithape, vinit palkar and rekha mhatre. While educated corporators like dr. Gautami sonawane and architect swati gurkhe added feathers on the cap of the new house. On the other hand this freshness from youngsters seemed to have been well-balanced with the presence of experienced corporators who won the elections for the 3 or 4th time – like bharat nakhatre, vithal more, santosh shetty, dashrath bhagat and others. Besides the perfect composition of youth and experience, another change in the house that was welcomed by all was that Shiv Sena replaced congress to become the opposition party in NMMC and manoj haldankar took charge as opposition leader. In a city that was devoid of an active opposition for decades, Shiv Sena dawning the role of opposition in NMMC was seen an a healthy sign for democracy. For all these very reasons, the expectations both from the ruling and opposition in the new house of NMMC were sky high. The new house looked so promising that many believed this would be the most glorious years of development and progress in Navi Mumbai. However a year from may 2010 and into may 2011, if today you had to summarize the performance of this new house of corporators led by sagar naik as mayor and manoj haldankar as opposition leader, this is how it would be :
“haphazard civic work”
“never ending road digging work”
“24 x 7 water supply???”
“failure to implement hoarding policy”
“failure to implement hawker’s policy”
“failure to implement parking policy”
“failure to implement beautification policy”
“poor yet to get justice at NMMC – fortis hospital”
“increasing number of illegal slums”

Not a pretty picture that was…was it? Unfortunately this ugly picture represents the performance of the new house of corporators as they complete one year. In other words, the first year of the new house of corporators in NMMC has been a complete failure. Public interest issues and implementing the most ambitious policies of the corporation like hawkers, hoarding, parking, beautification has been completely ignored and side lined.

On the contrary the corporators’ focus has only been on tender related contracts. In fact, the callous manner in which tax payer’s money is being spent is a worrying sign for the city. Mayor sagar naik and his team of corporators form the ruling front. However, a look back into the one-year shows that their performance has been a major disappointment as capable leadership seems to be missing in the ruling front. Coming from a family of leaders, it is but obvious that sagar naik’s performance is being compared to that of sanjeev naik as mayor and Sandeep Naik as standing committee chairman who commanded respect and dignity with their conduct. However, in their comparison sagar naik has failed to live upto expectations of being a promising capable leader.

Vikas mahadik says that leadership qualities and passion to lead is inborn, which one has not seen in the young mayor. There’s no denying that given the fact that he has the blessings of thane guardian minister Ganesh Naik and support of experienced and seasoned mp dr. Sanjeev naik and MLA Sandeep Naik, sagar naik could have done wonders as mayor. But fact is that, so far his performance has been a major disappointment. On the other hand, the less said about the opposition led by opposition leader manoj haldankar – the better it is. Completely failing the expectations of the citizens, the opposition party has not done justice with even a single issue of public interest. Due to their lack of experience and knowledge, no opposition corporators including manoj haldankar has done a studied debate on any proposal in the general body or even the budget discussions last month. In comparison to manoj haldankar, his party colleague vijayanand mane created more of an impact as a studied corporator during his one-year tenure as standing committee member.

All their protests and walk out of meetings too have been only for record sake as none ever reaped public benefitting results. The biggest disappointment has been the opposition leader manoj haldankar himself. Coming from a party that has the history of giving the state some of the most aggressive and studied opposition leaders like narayan rane, ramdas kadam and now their alliance party’s eknath khadse, manoj haldankar’s tenure as opposition leader can be described as one with many bites, but the sting is missing.

That’s why at the end of one year, the Shiv Sena’s performance as opposition in NMMC has been far from satisfaction. And it’s not like the ruling and opposition are denying that their first year’s performance has been a failure. Though refraining caution both the sides admit, that they could have done better. As expected opposition leader manoj haldankar gave lame excuses; perhaps he had no justification for his failed performance. On the other hand, mayor sagar naik was more graceful. Citing that he had to work within boundaries and with limitations, he however did promise to live up to people’s expectations before he completes his 2nd year in the office of mayor.

There was a lot of promise, hope and expectations from the new house of corporators but in the last one year the performance of the 89 corporators has been a sheer disappointment. We hope that atleast, now the corporators will wake up to the calls of their duty and fulfill their responsibilities as elected public representatives. So that the next time round when their work is analyzed both the ruling and opposition work in public interest and do justice to public work. With bureau inputs, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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