gn-body-2Women and Child Welfare, Health and Medical Assistance, Water Supply and Sewage Treatment, Sports and Cultural Program, Social Welfare and Slums Improvement and Law Committee – these are the 6 special committees of NMMC that cab easily be called useless as they have had little work to their credit in the past. Yet corporators of all parties vie to become a member of these committees. There are two reasons for this – one because it enables corporators to post a feather to their cap of so-called honours and second is applicable only for the chairpersons who get a car allowance of Rs. 25000 per month. When there is no responsibility to deliver – these two become good enough reasons for corporators wanting to be on these committees. At the special general body meeting, Mayor Sagar Naik announced the names of the members of these committees. With the ruling Naik family keeping hold of the key Mayor’s post and thereby the “out-of-reach-of-the-common-citizens” Mayor’s bungalow on Parsik Hills, these postings provide buffers to keep the large NCP family in good humour. The NCP has accommodated all its 59 members in the postings barring five corporators. However the nomination of members has raised a question – is the ruling NCP and other political parties bias against women corporators. This is because all the five co-opted members and all 14 members of the Tree Authority are male members. The Tree Authority of NMMC in fact has become notorious for organizing study tours to exotic locations but have never studied the locations or translated their finds in Navi Mumbai’s environs. That is why the Tree Authority has become only a five year ticket for corporators to have a merry time at the expense of the tax payer’s money. Corporators who have grabbed five year posting of the tree authority this time include NCP’s Vitthal More, Manohar Madhvi, Vikram Shinde, Ashok Patil, Suresh Kulkarni, Keshav Mathre, Suresh Saldar and Sanjay Patil, Congress’s Amit Patil and Vilas Bhoir and Shiv Sena’s Bahadur Bisht and Kashinath Patil. Perhaps women corporators in tree authority may have proved a discomfiture in the study tour revelry that’s why all parties chose to appoint only male members to the tree authority. In fact, no party in the city found women candidates eligible to be co-opted or appointed to important committees like education, transport or tree authority in the corporation till date. Nearly 80% of the teaching staff and 50% of the students in schools in city comprise of females and yet the Education Committee had no women members till date. Women comprise 50% of the city population, yet not a single woman has been appointed to the transport committee till date. With 40% women in the NMMC general body and 0% in the key – Education, Transport and Tree Authority bodies – the bias against women in NMMC is starkly evident. With bureau inputs – Vishwarath Nayar for NMTV News.

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