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Municipality - Civil Society Partnership Letter to Prime Minister
Municipality - Civil Society Partnership
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
deeply appreciate your advice for the city of
1. the MoU signed between
MCGM and the NGO Council on 12 December, 2005
1. The Chief Minister of
Maharashta, Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh