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  Home >> Cleanliness >> Minutes of Meeting on ALM’s held on 6-01-06 at 3:30 pm at Karmayog office and at 5:30 pm at the MCGM head Office


Minutes of Meeting on ALM’s held on 6-01-06 at 3:30 pm at Karmayog office
at 5:30 pm at the MCGM Head Office

V:         This meeting is not for addressing complaints of ALMs about MCGM’s 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 today’s 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.

V: One reason of the MoU is to move from a relationship based system to a rules based system.  

As an exercise we have taken Mrs. Redkar’s 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 today’s meeting: 1) salient features of the MoU – to show the different approach

2) The concept of Cleanliness Task Force

3) ALM – meeting agenda  

(went through activities of the ALM – accepted as a comprehensive list; suggested to included illegal banners, and street lights)  

Gerson:            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.  

(Most people present had not gone through the Rules – so brief summary was provided to them)  

MIDC: With authority comes responsibility and accountability – for MCGM

            After segregation which citizens will do, MCGM must arrange for separate collection.

Borivali:            The fines for not segregation should be high.

Gerson:            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.

MIDC:             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 don’t have enough transport facilities to service this spot.

Gerson: there is an eternal transport problem

Seema: Enough transport facilities should be available at the ward level.

V:         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.  

2) Composting

Seema: 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

Poonam:In D-Ward, people have no space to keep waste for a week, they want it picked up every day.

Seema: Unsegregated waste should not be picked up at all.

Gerson: But Ratho says that MCGM cannot do that.

MIDC: It’s not possible to ensure segregation by all – slums go and throw – all spots cannot be manned.

V: What is your suggestion for dry waste?

Poonam: either MCGM  collects or allows NGO’s 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 later.  

3) debris

If any ALM reports and calls a help-line regarding debris, MCGM should collect in 48 hours.  

Gerson: has the concept of Saaf Aangan been accepted?

V: yes, it has been included in the Rules?  

4) Sweeping

MCGM must sweep any spot complained about within 24 hours of complaint  

5) Beautification/tree planting

MCGM should frame a policy for this, and provide a budget. Any proposal of an ALM should be accepted and scrutinised by the LACC.

MIDC: There are already set Rules – at Ward level – with forms, etc.

Narayan: There 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.

MIDC: 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.

Vinay:   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.

Narayan: they 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: ALM’s should keep their gutters clean – we keep ours clean.  

7) Stray dogs and cattle:

MCGM should send an empanelled AWO to take action. Action to be followed up in the LACC, and a joint report to be filed.

Indrani: MCGM 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.

Borivali: ALM should be kept informed  


Indrani: the 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 zone.

MIDC: In 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.

Indrani: Zonal 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

Indrani: Action 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.

Cannot combine the 2 – the Action Taken Reports should be with the ALM.  

Seema: The functioning of ALM’s and LACC across the city is not a regular feature.

Gerson: It must be an enforced rule that monthly meetings of ALM’s 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.

V:         Where does LACC fit in?

Indrani: Let 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 ALM.  

The problem with ALMs is that the police and Corporators are unrepresented- they need to be involved.

The solution that was provided destroyed the answer – LACC’s – over 450 of them – so many meetings to be held every month – it was a recipe for disaster.

ALM monthly meetings need to be held.  

V:         Can we have a meeting on Monday to discuss this further? LACC includes the ALM’s – so negates the ALM concept?  

Indrani: ALMs 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 also.  

Gerson: Non-performance of LACC should be reported to ALM.

V: So who is above?

Indrani: I deal with both in D-ward – ALM’s and LACC’s – both are equal – ALM is direct partnership with BMC – LACC is to address small problems of citizens.

ALM takes up larger issues, but both forums are equal. ALM’s are in both forums – and hence get in touch with BMC at 2 levels.

ALM’s 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.

Narayan: Our ALM is active – we had Ward office meetings with the AMC – very positive – common agendas of all ALM’s was prepared in advance. In LACC, there are lower officers who can’t handle or provide solutions.

V: Can we meet on Monday to prepare a base document on this?

Gerson: to talk of ALM’s is to presume that monthly meetings happen.

Indrani: We should call all the old ALms

V: last week, Mr. Ratho’s 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  

Indrani: BMC 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.

Where should the reports go? ALM or LACC? – we will address this?

The concept of the report being done jointly by ALM and MCGM

Indrani: technically, 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 don’t 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?

Gerson: Yes

Narayan: For implementation of Saaf Aangan, Traffic Police is a must

V:         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.  

Indrani: All AlMs as a matter of fact map their areas – you need to see.

Gaurav: Bombay Dyeing has taken up the area around Century Mills, studied the area, listed the area’s requirements such as zero garbage, and suggested a solution, with MCGM’s inputs, and available resources, such as existing gardens for vermin-composting, etc.

Indrani: Model 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 MCGM’s support where we cannot.  

(second part of meeting at MCGM office)  

Those present:



WPA – 4 members: Veena, Ramita, Nusrat, Shashi


Anjali – Times

Preeti- Times Property

Gaurav- BDyeing

Priya – Bdyeing

Harshad Gandhi, Excel

Narayan, Pestom Sagar Chembur ALM

Dr. Ratna Magotra - Govandi

Binti Kantha, research student, IIT

Snigdha Jain, student, TISS

Suhasini – Borivali

_______ - Borivali



Rehmat – Clean Air Island

_____ - 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 doesn’t 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  

Today’s meeting 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.

Eg.: traffic: 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 ALM’s as a system have failed?  

V: Before we look at the agenda sheet – diff issues that ALM’s would like to take up – what support should MCGM give.

R: Before that we should discuss what an ALM should be

Indrani: there 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 won’t 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.

The 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 LACC’s with successes and failures – a form of interaction between citizens and Ngo’s 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 ALM’s 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 – it’s 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

2) assistance 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 the city.  

Nair: Mr.ratho 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.

Indrani: Regd co-op requires 7-11 members under the Public Trust Act – new Rule.

Narayan: In our Ward, we had a federation of ALM’s – the ALMANAC – we went with a common agenda – to avoid 200 ALM’s meeting – societies can also recover ALM charges from members.

Ratho: What population of M-West do you represent?

Narayaen: No idea.

Nair: Unless we are institionalised, nothing more will happen beyond meetings.

Mr.Ratho has 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 MC’s circulars are ignored by the Ward Officer. Everything depends on the ward Officer.

R: tell me what the circular says

Garson: I don’t 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 won’t work. Like we had discussed with PRAJA, registered numbers for each ALM – plug in to technology – monitoring is also easy.

Lets presume 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 new structure.

At present, all we can say is that some ALM’s are happy – but that is a limited view – can we go beyond that? – here is an opportunity to go beyond that.  

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.

Other issues beyond LACC needs to be addressed – recorded and sent to appropriate level.

In 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.

Ramita: yes, 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 other’s 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.

ALM’s 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 a modality

Ratho: it is imp to have at least 10 representatives – for the cooperative society.

Veena: What if you can’t get even 7 people on board?

V: MCGM is doing its duty – if you want to go to level 2 – and you can’t find 7 people, bad luck.

Ratho: in Delhi , good NGOs can take up monitoring – can be trainers – can give feedback – don’t have to set up individual ALMs.

Third party monitoring – through a detached process of selection – Delhi has these documents – where MCGM will give assistance – for training and feedback/ monitoring

Indrani: that role is important – the practical formality of setting up an ALM/RWA – legal functionalities – independent of MCGM – people will move away –

Ratho: it is still necessary

Indrani: RWAs 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.

V: According to the NGO Council, formal systems are required – not only for ALM’s – 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.

Let’s 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 doesn’t listen, then does the buck stop there?

R: yes

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 or implemented?

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.

Bombay Dyeing 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?

Gerson: What is the response?

Ratho: that depends on your levels of optimism and pessimism!

Govandi: Non-occupancy certificate problem.

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 of complaint

2) go to court

3) organise people – go the MLA or Councillor

All this is happening – numbers are so huge – it’s not enough to bring about a systemic change.

You have political, individual, media power – can we form citizens groups in a more institutionalised way? – then change can happen.

How: Through 1) Formal entity

2) structure – 2-3 levels

3) build a system of monitoring

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 – we’ll do the homework. Mr. Ratho is open and has gone all out.

V: I’ll make a note on the support required and pass it on.

Raho: I don’t 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.

Ratho: create a structure that recognises good practices, not only ALMs but also MCGM officers.

Indrani: The old ALMs must not be forgotten.

Ratho: Old ALMs can take on other roles: of training, capacity building, holding events.

Gandhi: McKinsey 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 is required.

V: Knowledge 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


It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner