Get involved in YOUR city and locality - Improve Your World
Get involved in YOUR city and locality - Improve Your World
Get involved in YOUR city and locality 
Improve Your World Home | About Us | Sitemap | Search | Contact Us 

Home >> NGO Council >>  Municipality - Civil Society Partnership Letter to Prime Minister

 Municipality - Civil Society Partnership Letter to Prime Minister


                                                                                                                   June 24, 2006

The Prime Minister
Shri Manmohan Singh
South Block, Raisina Hill,
New Delhi 110 011

Respected Sir,

Sub: Municipality - Civil Society Partnership

Ref:       1. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai's Memorandum of Understanding with the NGO Council

               2. The Charter for the MCGM - Local Area Citizen Group Partnership 2006 w.e.f. April 1, 2006

               3. Your speech at the inauguration of Mumbai Metro Rail Project on June 21, 2006

The inauguration of the first phase of the Mumbai Metro Rail Project on 21st June 2006 was a moment of great pride and hope for the city of Mumbai and her citizens as this much-needed and long-awaited project can positively transform the city and its dynamics. We are grateful that the foundation stone was laid by you thereby providing the much needed impetus and encouragement to see the project to a speedy and successful completion.

We were delighted to hear that "Every citizen must feel that their municipality is of them and for them".

The floods of July 2005 were an irreversible turning point in the way citizens of Mumbai viewed and interacted with the city as an entity, and beyond the resilience, energy, brotherhood, and tolerance that Mumbaikars demonstrated at that time, a new determined spirit of participation emerged, whereby citizens realised that their own active engagement is necessary to improve and ensure a proper quality of life.

As a result of these learnings, a group of NGOs in Mumbai came together in August 2005 to form the NGO Council as a representative body of Civil Society Organisations and the NGO sector in Mumbai comprising a mix of organisations with complementary expertise encompassing different concerns.

This collective body has brought together the wide variety and richness of experience and expertise available in Civil Society, and has created an effective mechanism for civil society to organise itself into an institution that can responsibly participate and constructively engage in city governance by contributing valuable suggestions and participating in policy formulation, monitoring and feedback.

A historic Memorandum of Understanding to promote Good City Governance between Civil Society Organisations and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai was signed between MCGM and the NGO Council on 12th Dec. 2005.

This is a first-ever institutionalised mechanism to go "about making the government more effective, efficient and people friendly so that it can handle better the many tasks that only Governments can perform" as pointed out in your first address to the nation as the Prime Minister.

Some of the significant results achieved by this partnership include:

      Framing of the MCGM Municipal Solid Waste Rules 2006, that were drafted through a unique collaborative process between the MCGM and Civil Society Organisations that was made possible through the NGO Council;

      Framing of the Charter for the MCGM - Local Area Citizen Group Partnership 2006 that was framed with inputs from the NGO Council;

      Recommendations to the MCGM regarding a Policy for Hawkers in Mumbai (in the context of the ongoing Supreme Court case on the issue);

      Preparation of a Draft Public Health Policy for Mumbai, that is currently under discussion

      Sharing and dissemination of information by MCGM via the NGO Council and this leading to establishment of transparency and the gaining of public support by the administration from better informed citizens. This has further led to better understanding between the partners and a change of mindsets from a complaining and confrontational attitude to a collaborative one.

We would like to specifically highlight that the MCGM - Local Area Citizen Group Partnership can transform this new sense of ownership into a sustainable mechanism of citizen group participation in governance, across the city. Indeed, it has the potential to be a path-breaking paradigm for Civil Society - Government collaboration in all cities in India !

The Local Area Citizen Group concept creates a sustainable institutional mechanism that recognises interested citizen groups of a defined geographical area as formal partners of MCGM in various areas such as micro-planning, implementation, awareness creation, monitoring, and feedback so as to help MCGM better fulfil its mandatory obligations towards providing civic services and infrastructure, finding optimal solutions for various civic related matters, as well as assisting MCGM in its role in disaster management in every local area.

As pointed out by you, "Mumbai symbolises India to the external world," and through such a collective platform of civil society and through the progressive steps such as those taken by MCGM with the NGO Council, one can bring about positive change and make our cities more liveable, and set examples for the rest of India.

We are also hopeful that, in due course, other Government departments and agencies will also utilise the potential of the LACG set-up for involvement of citizens in planning and implementation.

We are reminded of your first speech as the Prime Minister wherein you said "We shall make effective use of the resources of the civil society to improve the quality of governance and delivery of important public services." and we look forward to the NGO Council being invited to play an active role.

We deeply appreciate your advice for the city of Mumbai , and are confident that your able and informed leadership will take our country securely into a new future.

Yours Sincerely,



Vinay Somani
NGO Council


Encl.:    1. the MoU signed between MCGM and the NGO Council on 12 December, 2005
            2. the MCGM Municipal Solid Waste Rules 2006 w.e.f. 1 March, 2006

the Charter for the MCGM Local Area Citizen Group Partnership 2006

cc:  1. The Chief Minister of Maharashta, Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh
       2. The Municipal Commissioner of Greater Mumbai, Shri Johny Joseph