Minutes of Meeting on ALMs held on 6-01-06 at 3:30 pm at Karmayog office
at 5:30 pm at the MCGM Head Office
This meeting is not for addressing complaints of ALMs about
MCGMs functioning. We want to discuss what activities ALMs do and
discuss what support ALMs need from MCGM for this. If MCGM agrees
to provide this support, we will then finalise this list.
One of the ideas
in todays agenda is the concept of joint reporting by ALMs and
MCGM. This report is then to be sent to the LACC, or MCGM
website, and to higher officials for redressal. Is this idea of
joint reporting a good idea?
MIDC: A theoretical
report will not be very effective.
The ALM concept when it was set up had a loose admin linkage,
and it functioned well. 1 rep of MCGM came once a week and with
a record book, the problems of the ALM were discussed. I feel institutionalisation
will cause problems.
reason of the MoU is to move from a relationship based system to
a rules based system.
As an exercise
we have taken Mrs. Redkars list of 625 ALMs and called all individually
to find out the current status of ALMs and the results of this are
available on Karmayog website.
Let us focus
now for an ALM, what activities it will undertake and what support
can MCGM give for this. There are 3 sheets with all of you for todays
meeting: 1) salient features of the MoU to show the different
2) The concept
of Cleanliness Task Force
3) ALM meeting
activities of the ALM accepted as a comprehensive list; suggested
to included illegal banners, and street lights)
Unauthorised construction is a big issue
V :It is also
included. Lets take up the issues one by one: Segregation there
are a new set of Rules for Littering and Segregation, where MCGM
has already committed to its responsibilities to help citizens groups.
present had not gone through the Rules so brief summary was provided
With authority comes responsibility and accountability
After segregation which citizens will do, MCGM must arrange
for separate collection.
The fines for not segregation should be high.
And who will report the misdemeanour? There must be a mechanism
for complaint from citizen to ALM, and then prompt action needs
to be taken.
In our own ALM, garbage is dumped openly on the road we
want MCGM to install a bin at that spot, collect the dry waste,
and give us permission to set up and operate a vermicomposting bin
at that spot.
V:There are currently
2 views on bins: a) to remove all community bins, and b) to install
at locations recommended by ALMs, etc.
MIDC: Would you
like the garbage to stay on the road? MCGM should provide bins.
MIDC 2: We have
monitored the spot for a week MCGM said we dont have enough transport
facilities to service this spot.
is an eternal transport problem
transport facilities should be available at the ward level.
In the new rules, MCGM says that every generator must hold
waste till the bill-ringing vehicle come. Further transport contractors/MCGM
employees will be fined for not picking up, or mixing waste, or
picking up late.
MCGM should pick up dry waste at least twice a week, through
small vehicles, and these must be linked to rag-pickers organisations.
V:Dry waste is
proposed to be picked up once a week by MCGM
people have no space to keep waste for a week, they want it picked
up every day.
waste should not be picked up at all.
Gerson: But Ratho
says that MCGM cannot do that.
Its not possible to ensure segregation by all slums go
and throw all spots cannot be manned.
V: What is your
suggestion for dry waste?
MCGM collects or allows
NGOs to collect at a fee.
V: Proposed Rules
say that housing societies are encouraged to network with Ragpicker
NGOs. We need to have clarity on this we will discuss in detail
If any ALM reports
and calls a help-line regarding debris, MCGM should collect in 48
Gerson: has the
concept of Saaf Aangan been accepted?
V: yes, it has
been included in the Rules?
MCGM must sweep
any spot complained about within 24 hours of complaint
MCGM should frame
a policy for this, and provide a budget. Any proposal of an ALM
should be accepted and scrutinised by the LACC.
There are already set Rules at Ward level with forms,
are rules, but the other departments of MCGM are not aware of these
Rules, and hence even after we have undertaken the beautification
at our cost, they come and break it.
We have spent our own money on beautification. If money comes
from MCGM there will be more problems.
The Rules should
be known to all departments. Once permission is given by MCGM, it
should be honoured.
Gaurav: Let the
ALM be vigilant that no one breaks the stuff.
Recommendation is that: No beautification that is done will
be un-done without the view of the concerned ALM being sought.
Poonam: A single
window system at Ward level would also be helpful. At present, the
permission requires to go through several departments, and we have
to follow up everywhere.
V: As far as
we are concerned, the A(E) maint. Is the single window?
Seema: the ALM
officer should be the single window who will coordinate he needs
to be empowered.
not only broke our plants, they asked us for payment to do so.
6) Gutter cleaning:
If an ALM phones
MCGM, it must be cleaned within 24 hours.
MIDC: ALMs should
keep their gutters clean we keep ours clean.
7) Stray dogs
MCGM should send
an empanelled AWO to take action. Action to be followed up in the
LACC, and a joint report to be filed.
is supposed to catch and return after treatment to the same spot,
but they catch and leave anywhere. MCGM must pick up and return
to the same spot.
should be kept informed
cattle situation is different from area to area.. The demand is
that feeding of cows be disallowed on the road.
Seema: It is
already disallowed there is a Rule and a Fine of Rs.1000. There
is a cattle Officer at zonal level- there are 2 vehicles for each
dubai , the camel owner is fined.
Gerson: The existing
law should be enforced. There should be a cattle officer at Ward
level, not zone level.
to come down to ward level, so that ALM can implement
Gerson: If he
bottleneck is transport, then transport needs to be provided.
If ALM send a
report jointly with MCGM, the implementation status of that report
can be monitored by LACC
in ALM and reporting in LACC is a flawed concept. ALMs are an integral
part of LACC LACC is alone where there is no ALM.
ALMs have a monthly
meeting at ward level at Ward Office headed by AMC.
LACC is a weekly
meeting at Councillor Ward level.
the 2 the Action Taken Reports should be with the ALM.
Seema: The functioning
of ALMs and LACC across the city is not a regular feature.
Gerson: It must
be an enforced rule that monthly meetings of ALMs at Ward Office
conducted by the AMC with record minutes must be held.
Indrani: It is
a Rule there is a circular to that effect.
Where does LACC fit in?
the 2 not be confused. ALM is a separate entity that has its own
meetings at ward level so 24 wards.
LACC in all Corporator
Wards 227 weekly, now fortnightly for admin reasons. Ina Corporator
area, there may be many areas unrepresented by ALMs these have
VARs Voluntary Area Representatives- who bring forward complaints.
V: what is the
relationship between ALM, LACC and VAR?
Gerson: ALM started
in 1998, as a framework for MCGM and citizen interaction.
About the function
of locality groups: maintain a register of records there should
be a Nodal Officer who visits them weekly and sets right the complaints
else reports go monthly to the Ward Officer else monthly to
The problem with
ALMs is that the police and Corporators are unrepresented- they
need to be involved.
that was provided destroyed the answer LACCs over 450 of them
so many meetings to be held every month it was a recipe for
ALM monthly meetings
need to be held.
Can we have a meeting on Monday to discuss this further?
LACC includes the ALMs so negates the ALM concept?
get 2 forums to report.
Seema: I strongly
feel that LACC is not able to solve the problems the officer is
a junior officer the ALM meetings can address the LACC problems
of LACC should be reported to ALM.
V: So who is
Indrani: I deal
with both in D-ward ALMs and LACCs both are equal ALM is
direct partnership with BMC LACC is to address small problems
ALM takes up
larger issues, but both forums are equal. ALMs are in both forums
and hence get in touch with BMC at 2 levels.
ALMs meet once
a month with the Ward Officer.
LACC meets once
a fortnight for Corporator areas. Furthermore once a month, all
LACCs meet the AMC this is supposed to happen.
Gerson: so 25
meetings to happen in d-ward a month.
ALM is active we had Ward office meetings with the AMC very
positive common agendas of all ALMs was prepared in advance.
In LACC, there are lower officers who cant handle or provide solutions.
V: Can we meet
on Monday to prepare a base document on this?
Gerson: to talk
of ALMs is to presume that monthly meetings happen.
Indrani: We should
call all the old ALms
V: last week,
Mr. Rathos office sent circulars to all Wards for an updated list
of ALMs. We got a copy of those lists and phone each ALM about this
meeting so this group present can be considered to be representative
of all ALMs.
Idea of joint
status reports on different types of situations in each ward since
we have an MoU we want to have a collaborative and cooperative
relationship joint means recording of different opinions of
the status of that situation. E.g.: traffic
ward officer is unable to get traffic rep on board.
V: the status
report should be filed with the relevant BMC dept. also with the
relevant Police/other Govt. dept., and then at appropriate levels/committees
these reports should be minuted / publicly displayed and escalated
this is the proposed strategy.
the reports go? ALM or LACC? we will address this?
The concept of
the report being done jointly by ALM and MCGM
a site visit is already done jointly. May I suggest that you visit
our Sat. ALM meeting. Could also look at Borivali and K(east) ALM
meetings which dont function well.
Narayan: In our
ALM meeting, traffic rep used to come, but a different rep came
each time, so no continuity.
V: can MCGM impose
on Traffic/Police to attend?
implementation of Saaf Aangan, Traffic Police is a must
2 types of problems: small temporary and larger issues. For
the larger issues, an overall study/status report needs to be done
of the area.
AlMs as a matter of fact map their areas you need to see.
Bombay Dyeing has taken up the area around
Century Mills, studied the area, listed the areas requirements
such as zero garbage, and suggested a solution, with MCGMs inputs,
and available resources, such as existing gardens for vermin-composting,
ALM has already done. Since 2000, we have done pilots of house to
house collections as a model for MCGM to follow.
Gaurav: We have
proposed complete adoption and MCGMs support where we cannot.
of meeting at MCGM office)
WPA 4 members:
Veena, Ramita, Nusrat, Shashi
Sagar Chembur ALM
Dr. Ratna Magotra
research student, IIT
_______ - Borivali
_____ - M (South)
V: The main points
summarised: We are coming from a different background for the context
of our discussions with MCGM for any subject steering committees
to be formed, that include citizens, ALMs etc such a group cannot
be ignored by MCGM. Our mindset must be changed we have a context
of partnership we know what works and doesnt work we are coming
here not as a complainant but at a higher level.
2 general approaches:
study existing model, identify shortfalls, suggest changes. Second
is: what should be the ideal situation what strategy and structure
to achieve that establish clear goals these to be known by MCGM
and citizens clear objectives then frame the structures and
change/modify the existing structure.
There is a current
structure remove the irritants and suggest improvements.
3 steps: 1) have
a 5/10 year goal
2) new steps
and new guidelines
3) and for work
to begin today: new mechanisms
with Mr. Ratho, is for the different activities that any locality
is to be involved in what support should MCGM provide if MCGM
agrees to this list then we expand.
one-ways, road dividers report filed with appropriate authority:
BMC, Police, MMRDA and then monthly implementation and actions
status on that report. A structure needs to be worked out so that
it becomes a standard document for that locality.
Gerson: In this
ALM meeting, should we make the point that ALMs as a system have
V: Before we
look at the agenda sheet diff issues that ALMs would like to
take up what support should MCGM give.
R: Before that
we should discuss what an ALM should be
should be clarity as there are different interpretations of an ALM
R: I have been
searching for a system there is a practice it started with a
small group of highly inspired people with a high level of involvement
could achieve cleanliness only circulars were issued no Rules
for functions just meetings wont let a larger group benefit
hence we need a structure that needs to be institutionalised.
I have not yet arrived at a conclusion about what this structure
should be one where ALMs have rights and responsibilities and MCGM
has rights and resposnibilities vis-a-vis the ALM this will work,
rather that just meetings.
We have also
had the experience of LACCs with successes and failures a form
of interaction between citizens and Ngos at Councillor wards
opportunities for interaction the jury is still out on its effectiveness
but even this is not statutory and has its limitations.
If we have a
rugged, well tested well thought-out structure for ALMs, then LACC
would not have been needed. ALM is for a locality only 200 ALMs
in a ward its unmanageable hence change is required.
Nair: the ALM
concept originated from MCGM with a loose framework it did function.
Based on the current experiences, has MCGM given a thought to what
the new structure could be?
R: I have thought
of a new idea it is a rudimentary idea LACC is a forum not
a substitute for ALM can take it or leave it its one more forum.
According to me if anything is to be sustainable, and not based
on personalities, it has to be statutory. Some other orgs like Lok
satta are also working on bringing about legislative change.
Till then, institutionalisation
and formalisation is required.
Ist who is an
ALM needs to be defined. There is an original group of ALMs who
have achieved success. AlMs must be a registered entity registered
under the cooperative societies act rather than a Trust/society-
objectives of members would include segregation - - there would
be Model Bye-laws.
Two things are
acbieved by this:
1) a form of
inherent regulation for the neighbourhood level group
beyond meetings including financial incentives authority to
collect admin charges for this we need to have a regd. Society.
3) has to be
at least a lane.
There needs to
be clarity on the whole structure which is then spread across
says that institionalise the structure, then discuss the other points.
Ratho: Once we
have this structure, we can have 2nd/3rd level
structures societies within societies, etc.
co-op requires 7-11 members under the Public Trust Act new Rule.
Narayan: In our
Ward, we had a federation of ALMs the ALMANAC we went with
a common agenda to avoid 200 ALMs meeting societies can also
recover ALM charges from members.
Ratho: What population
of M-West do you represent?
we are institionalised, nothing more will happen beyond meetings.
suggested one way we will work out the final structure.
Gerson: I sympathise
on your fruitless quest for a system there can be no system that
depends on the personality of the Ward Officer some institionalisation
is necessary for the ALMs to be able to handle money, etc Equally
important is monitoring, and the binding responsibility of MCGM
at present there is little or no responsibility from MCGM
How can MCGM
be prompted to respond?
R: You tell me
what it is that we can do I am open.
The more difficult
thing is to suggest the structure the system of feedback even
if the numbers grow.
Gerson: My own
experience of MCGM is limited where even MCs circulars are ignored
by the Ward Officer. Everything depends on the ward Officer.
R: tell me what
the circular says
Garson: I dont
know But we have an expressed need of something to cause the Asst
MCs to respond.
R: LACC is based
on a circular we felt that this may be a good thing but the councillors
felt threatened. Unless there is a system if there are large numbers
it wont work. Like we had discussed with PRAJA, registered numbers
for each ALM plug in to technology monitoring is also easy.
no Asst MC is interested then goes to Addl. MC or MC level system
is needed to deal with 227 responses we need to agree upon a system
there is an opportunity for us to sit together and discuss the
At present, all
we can say is that some ALMs are happy but that is a limited
view can we go beyond that? here is an opportunity to go beyond
M South: ALM
and LACC are similar ALM is for citizens LACC includes Corporators
there is some conflict at ward level ALM leaders view are expressed
but not lower level views LACC not happening in many wards
LACC is the direct contact between people and lower level MCGM staff
for small issues.
R: in a particular
forum, restrict the issues that can be addressed leave other issues
for other forums.
beyond LACC needs to be addressed recorded and sent to appropriate
Delhi , the RWA concept
is used with some funding structure at local level.
We need to have
a structure that is successful at the mass level.
mass level is important
R: Once we decide
what is the structure and concept, we can begin the process of training
and capacity building at our own levels we should know how to
deal with each other, be aware of each others roles we are willing
to do that both in terms of time and money.
Rather than a
privileged relationship with the AMC we should have joint capacity
building it is possible once we frame this new structure.
ALMs mean many
things to many people conceptually we need to agree and there
must be a system at the top for monitoring.
For. E.g.: we
have a policy level document for the adoption of a colony level
garden that can be taken up.
We also need
to study the Delhi RWA structure.
Govandi: we have
a heterogeneous population difficult to take along everybody
can there be commitment from MCGM to assist?
Ratho: It is
possible, but an entity is required.
Gerson: we need
Ratho: it is
imp to have at least 10 representatives for the cooperative society.
Veena: What if
you cant get even 7 people on board?
V: MCGM is doing
its duty if you want to go to level 2 and you cant find 7 people,
Delhi , good NGOs can take up monitoring
can be trainers can give feedback dont have to set up individual
Third party monitoring
through a detached process of selection
Delhi has these documents
where MCGM will give assistance for training and feedback/ monitoring
role is important the practical formality of setting up an ALM/RWA
legal functionalities independent of MCGM people will move
Ratho: it is
are getting registered each RWA has many ALMs ALMs are very
specific lets use the ALM concept with asset of Rules/instructions
on how much, etc., there should be at least a lane, etc these
should be enforced.
Ratho: If somebody
comes forward and says I represent x, what is the proof? What
is the test for new ALMs? old Alms are already in the Hall of Fame.
to the NGO Council, formal systems are required not only for ALMs
and hence we must work at formalising and institutionalising the
relationship with MCGM.
R: I have shared
my thoughts I would be happy to get your collective thought
I have been interacting with so many groups and have not yet got
a clear thought.
V: We are meeting
on Monday will include both sides the problems of shifting from
old system to another as well as discussing the new structure
and then we will present this to you it will be a move from
the relationship based system to a rules based system.
Lets go the
list of activities the latter part of the list covers the more
serious issues like traffic, encroachments, etc. these are all partly
solvable by MCGM, partly they are in the hands of other agencies
like Police, MMRDA, etc.
Does MCGM have
enforceability over the police?
R: No, there
are too many organisations and nobody listen to any one.
V: So if MCGM
says and police doesnt listen, then does the buck stop there?
V: For such complex
situations, and long term problems, we need to prepare a status
report with suggested action and put this forward to MCGM and
Police. Could you explain at what levels that report is advanced
R: if we get
the fundamentals, we can get the Ward Officers involved.
V: all reports
should be publicly accessible.
R: Yes, let the
hard facts be visible.
V: We are still
not convinced of what MCGM will do after such reports are made.
has put together a report for their area it is as comprehensive
as an ALM can make given the normal resources and abilities. What
will MCGM do?
is the response?
Ratho: that depends
on your levels of optimism and pessimism!
M-West: for a
situation, citizens should know where, when, who to go to.
Ratho: lets start
from there. Today as a citizen you want the city clean today under
the present system, there are 2-3 options:
1) Write a letter
2) go to court
3) organise people
go the MLA or Councillor
All this is happening
numbers are so huge its not enough to bring about a systemic
You have political,
individual, media power can we form citizens groups in a more
institutionalised way? then change can happen.
1) Formal entity
3) build a system
lay all this
before the public all good and bad good thing are happening
even with lower level staff bring together this spread these
stories reach out to a larger group by dissemination and deep
discussions in the meanwhile since we have a group of scattered
citizens with a wealth of experience of functioning with MCGM.
Nair: we are
in agreement. The easiest solution is to institutionalise a formal
working way that is of comfort to the Govt. and to us well do
the homework. Mr. Ratho is open and has gone all out.
V: Ill make
a note on the support required and pass it on.
Raho: I dont
think we will have a problem with providing that support.
Nair: What is
an ideal unit for the registered society at councillor ward level
or ward level?
Ratho: the idea
is to create small cells.
Shashi: the formal
structure should not de-motivate.
a structure that recognises good practices, not only ALMs but also
old ALMs must not be forgotten.
Ratho: Old ALMs
can take on other roles: of training, capacity building, holding
reports available for public
Ratho: we have
appointed them to give us a report we still have to accept it.
V: Mr. Sukhtankar
said that structures and processes of MCGM are unknown to BMC itself
R: hence de-mystification
of structure is important to know how new Rules and structure
will affect the system
R: Hence I am
taking this on after 3 years in the system J