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  Home >> Cleanliness >> The Local Area Citizen Group - a Practicing Manual Summary

 

The Local Area Citizen Group
(4-page Summary of 24 page manual) 

(14th March 2006)

 

1. Background:


The concept of a 
Local Area Citizen Group has been devised based on the learnings of the ALM scheme that lacked institutionalisation, of the Dattak Vasti Yojana, a community-led cleanliness programme in slums, and of the Local Area Citizen Committees (LACCs) so as have a ‘citizen unit’ that enables coverage of the entire city and also make the LACCs more effective.


2. Concept:

Citizen groups to be formal partners of BMC in micro-planning, implementation, awareness creation, monitoring and feedback so as to help BMC to better fulfill its mandatory obligations of providing civic services to the citizens of Mumbai.

3. Definition:

Local Area Citizen Group (LACG) means a group of owners or occupiers of residential or commercial premises or associations of such owners or occupiers of a particular area and are appointed by BMC as members of a LACC.   

4. Activities that an LACG can undertake:

As members of LACCS, LACGs can be involved in the planning, implementation, awareness creation, monitoring, feedback, etc. of various civic issues for that area such as Beautification and Greening, Cleanliness / Solid Waste Management, Environment protection, Traffic and Roads, Hawkers, Encroachment, Utilities, Unauthorised / illegal construction, Stray dogs, cattle, Disaster Management, Information Dissemination, etc. (all issues connected with BMC & citizens) in their respective areas. Some roles and responsibilities will be compulsory. 

5. LACG and BMC interactions with each other: 

Issues will  be treated as 1) Regular and 2) Urgent.   

Urgent issues, e.g. encroachments, illegal constructions, will be dealt via a Fast-Track method via quickly-scheduled meetings of only the affected LACGs with succeedingly higher officers of BMC till the matter is resolved.  

Complaints / feedback / suggestions that are Regular will be addressed via a Nodal Officer and via meetings at LACC (fortnightly), Ward (next fortnight), Zonal (next fortnight), Additional MC (monthly), and MC levels in the form of group meetings of concerned LACGs. (For the higher level meetings, LACGs will nominate members from amongst themselves so as to maintain a manageable number of participants in such meetings.)

6. Funding for an LACG:  

LACGs which register as a co-operative society can be authorised to act as “Agents” of BMC to provide certain services on payment from BMC, and to collect and keep Administrative Charges from offenders of various BMC Rules, or also provide services to BMC against payment.  

To cover administrative and overhead costs, LACGs may also collect charges from the members of the Societies they represent (OR all in the LACG area?).  

Corporate sponsorship may be availed of, as well as support from the local Councillor may be available to LACGs. BMC will also provide in-kind support e.g. making composting pits, providing plants, etc.  

7. Geographical boundaries of an LACG:


1) An LACG area is expected to be one where people have common concerns, or the area has common characteristics, or shares a geographical space, and such that there are not more than 12 LACGs in any Councillor Ward.  

2) The geographic area of each LACG will be suggested by the Assistant Commissioner of the concerned Ward and finalised in consultation with active members of LACC  

3)  A citizen group can start working in a small part of the demarcated LACG
     area, but will be expected to grow and eventually take on responsibility of the
     entire area.


4)  The boundaries of an LACG will be defined by roads, and the Councillor Ward
     boundaries.
Any road that forms the common boundary between 2 or more
     LACGs will be under both / all of the LACGs concerned, and the LACGs will
     work jointly on all issues pertaining to such roads / boundaries.
Similarly,
     issues pertaining to ‘Nodes’ e.g. Churchgate Station, will be resolved jointly by
     all LACGs in which part of the Node falls. 
 

5)
An example of an LACG that has been demarcated and mapped is at:
     
www.karmayog.com/cleanliness/awardcw3map.htm (attached)  

6) The boundaries of a LACG may be altered at any stage in consultation with LACGs on account of any administrative expediency.  

8. Formation of an LACG:

a) Steps for Citizens:  

A group of citizens (either one or more existing ALMs or members of a LACC, or a new group) to:  

1) finalise the suggested LACG geographical boundary with BMC  

2) Secure support in the form of letters of resolution of main entities of the area (e.g. Housing Societies, Shop-keepers Associations, etc.) covering at least one lane in the finalised area. It is not necessary to obtain the support of each and every entity.  

3) Sign Agreement 1 with BMC to get provisional authorisation to represent that area as members of the LACC (LACG is assigned unique no. and office bearers receive I-Cards) until they are able to take on responsibility for the entire area finalised for the LACG and / or gain adequate support. Initially BMC may authorise more than one group to become a member of the LACC for different parts of any area defined for representation by a single LACG until one of them is in a position to represent the whole area or a new group consisting of a combination of such provisionally authorised groups or otherwise is in a position to do so with adequate support from owners / occupiers of premises in the defined area. However, the number of groups which can be provisionally authorised to represent different parts of an area defined for a a single LACG will be subject to a maximum number of ….. such members in any one LACC.  

4) Begin work on activities listed (of which some such as in SWM are mandatory)   

5) Register as co-op society, if desirous of entering into Model Agreement 2 with BMC to get authorisation to act as BMC’s ‘Agent’ to collect and keep fines (as admin charges) from offenders of Rules, as well as to get payment to undertake services for upkeep of that area.  

b) Steps by BMC:  

1) To suggest boundaries for LACGs  

2) To appoint a Chief Nodal Officer for LACGs at the city level  

3) To appoint Nodal Officers at each Ward for LACG  

4) To put into place a process for responding to complaints and suggestions via the Nodal Officer and via meetings at LACC (fortnightly), Ward (next fortnight), Additional MC (monthly), and MC levels in the form of group meetings of concerned LACGs  

5) To provide the specified support for each activity that the LACG takes up.  

6) To set up information systems / internet linkages for data and communication and action between LACGs and BMC work smoothly and transparently  

c) Selection by a Committee: 
 
An apex (city-level) Committee: the BMC-NGO Council Committee for increasing local citizen group participation in Civic Governance, will oversee the formation / selection of LACGs, based on the specified criteria. This Committee will also review the functioning of the LACGs and the BMC-LACG working.  

9. Joint Mapping and Reporting:
 
The first step after the provisional registration of an LACG is for BMC and the LACG to undertake a joint mapping of the area and prepare a report about the situation with remedial suggestions, and to file it with the relevant MCGM and/or other Govt. departments. The further status of this report to be minuted in LACC meetings. 
 
For issues that require a deeper understanding of the situation (such as chronic traffic problems in an area),
joint reporting will be undertaken.
 
10. Complaints to BMC by citizens or groups other than LACG:
 

Where the citizen complains through the established structure of the OCMS, call centre, (proposed), etc., the concerned LACG will be kept informed of the complaint.
Unresolved complaints to be taken up at the appropriate forum: LACC, Ward meeting, Zone meeting, Head Office meeting, etc. Citizen to be kept informed. Individual citizens may also route their complaints to the BMC through the LACG of that area.  

11. If more than one citizen group wants to form the LACG for an area:


Selection of the LACG will be undertaken by the Committee based on record of credentials (of constructive activities in the area leading to any civic improvement). However a group that is registered as a society with relevant aims and objectives will be preferred, everything else being equal. Reasons for choosing one claimant over another will be made public. Approval by BMC will be provisional where only part of the entire LACG footprint is covered.  

12. Resolution of conflict between two LACGs  

In situations where 2 or more LACGs have conflicting views on a common issue that needs to be resolved, the same will be addressed at the LACC meetings, and then further at the Ward monthly meeting.  

Encl: Example of proposed LACG areas in Councillor Ward No. 3 in ‘A’ Ward














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