NMTV News had earlier aired a report on how corporators had made a mockery of NMMC general body meetings month after month with delays, absent-ism, irrelevant discussions and wastage of time. Post our report in October, there was a change in the conductance of the meeting but not for long. This week’s general body meeting not just exposed irresponsible attitude of ruling front corporators but also brought to light how the administration too is to be blamed for delays and wastage of public taxes and time in general body meetings. We showed the deteriorating standards of NMMC general meetings in our report of October 2008. The Mayor Anjani Bhoir and Leader of the House J D Sutar had gone to record to say that even ruling NCP corporators came late and that they were going to ensure discipline in general body meetings. Post our report, the general body meeting of November did see welcoming changes but not for long. Both the Mayor Anjani Bhoir and Leader of the House J D Sutar failed to ensure discipline as this week too the conductance of general body meeting set a rather shameful precedent by corporators. We bring to you minute by minute scenario of the meet and the drama that unfolded in the NMMC HQ not just showcasing the irresponsible behavior of ruling front corporators but even the NMMC administration. 11:00 AM 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. 11:30 AM The clock in the NMMC General Body Hall has struck 11:30 pm and finally the first three corporators Nirmala Palkar, Prakash Mate and Santosh Shetty walk in. While there is still no sign of the general body meeting beginning – another meeting did start at the same time but in the Mayor’s cabin. 11:40 AM As the clock touches 11:40 am, except for Ashok Patil and Manisha Bhoir, only opposition corporators walk in the general body hall. 12:00 PM Its 12 noon – both opposition and ruling corporators are late. But while most opposition corporators walk in the general body hall, NCP corporators who are an hour late head for the Mayor’s cabin instead. At the Mayor’s cabin, we are told that Sanjeev Naik is taking the meeting of corporators and that no media is allowed inside. 12:15 PM Opposition corporators continue to pour in the general body hall, the bell is continuously being rung in the floor but not bothered by any of this, latecomers of the ruling NCP party join the meeting in the Mayor’s cabin. The latecomers included Corporator Kalawati Mahale, Corporator Ratna Vishwasrao, Corporator Anant Sutar and Corporator Dyaneshwar Naik 12:20 PM Opposition wiles away time within the general body meeting, while NCP corporators move in and out of the Mayors’ cabin. 12:25 PM At 12:25 Sabu Daniel is the first to come out of the Mayor’s cabin. We ask him whether the ruling front is not ashamed of holding a meeting in the Mayor’s cabin at a time when they should be sitting for the monthly general body meeting. Take a look at how Sabu Daniel says that if the ruling corporators had shame, they could do a lot. Soon after Sabu Daniel leaves, NCP corporator Dyaneshwar Naik comes out. We ask him the same question and he pushes the blame on the administration. And even goes on to request us to not question the Mayor for the delay in beginning the NMMC general Body Meeting. 12:27 PM Word that the NMTV team is waiting outside the Mayor’s cabin goes inside. Mayor Sanjeev Naik asks corporators to leave the cabin and go for the general body meeting. As the NCP corporators move out, only a handful like NCP Corporators Saluja Sutar, Dr. Jayaji Nath and Vithal More remain behind with Mayor Anjani Bhoir, Dy. Mayor Shashikant Birajdar and first Mayor Sanjeev Naik. But none of this bothers NCP Corporator Saluja Sutar who continues to waste time inviting the Mayor Anjani Bhoir and Sanjeev Naik for an event. As we approached the trio presiding the meeting in the Mayor’s cabin for delaying the general body meeting, all three blame Commissioner Vijay Nahata for bringing in proposals of public work a night before – sighting the urgent proposals as the reason for the delay in beginning the meeting. Dy. Mayor Shashikant Birajdar says that we should not ask them the reason for delay but the Commissioner who present urgent proposals at the last minute. They reiterate the same in interviews. While first Mayor Sanjeev Naik says that the Commissioner should present the urgent proposals three days prior to the General Body meetings. On the other hand Dy. Mayor Shashikant Birajdar says that presenting last minute proposals has become the Commissioner’s habit. And that in protest they had even cancelled the general body meeting once in the past. Caught unaware, both first Mayor Dr. Sanjeev Naik and Shashikant Birajdar contradict each other on one point – while Sanjeev Naik says it’s alright to begin general body meetings an hour late, Shashikant Birajdar says its compulsory to begin the meeting on time. However, there is one point where both of them agree – that discipline was a must in public meetings. Delays and wastage of time, taxes and irrelevant discussions isn’t new in the general body meetings. We visited the wards of senior corporators M K Madhvi, Hande Patil, Bharat Nakhate and Bharat Jadhav – a few of the corporators who are always late for general body meetings. Disappointed residents voiced the problems that their wards has been facing and criticized the irresponsible behavior of their corporators. The delay this week also exposed the administration’s apathy towards public meetings that are held at the cost of public taxes for public issues. To find out why the administration brought proposals at last minute we met Commissioner Vijay Nahata. Sources from administration also blame the presence of former Mayor Sanjeev Naik for often being reason of delay of meetings. Between the ruling front corporators and administration’s blame game, the general body meetings are being taken for granted. Which again raises the question as to why the administration does not bring urgent proposals in Chairman Sandeep Naik’s Standing Committee meetings or why aren’t Standing Committee meetings marred with delays and wastage of public time and public taxes? The answer to this question in not difficult – the leadership in Standing Committee has the will to work for public, make a difference and does not permit the administration to take the Standing Committee meetings for granted but the leadership in General Body Meetings neither has the will to work for the public nor intention to seriously inculcate discipline in meetings held in the interest of tax paying bonafide citizens of Navi Mumbai. Zeba Warsia – NMTV News.
July 12, 2006