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Home >> NGO Council >> Memorandum of Understanding Between  Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) & NGO Council

Memorandum of Understanding Between  Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) & NGO Council dated 12 Dec, 2005



  Memorandum of Understanding  


Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM)


NGO Council    


I.          Need for institutionalized partnership between Municipal Corporations and NGOs/CSOs to promote Good City Governance  

1.            India ’s journey along the path of democratic development has yielded rich lessons. One of them is the growing awareness, both in society and in government (central, state and local), that the success or failure of the latter’s policies and programmes hinges critically on people’s participation in their planning, formulation, implementation and monitoring. Specifically, this has brought to the fore the useful role that civil society organizations can play in the development process, firstly, by serving as a non-political link between the people and governmental institutions and, secondly, by bringing valuable intellectual, professional and mobilisational expertise to assist the governments’ efforts.   

2.            Additionally, constructive civic activism promotes much-needed transparency and accountability in the functioning of democratic institutions, thereby strengthening people’s faith in democracy. For this reason, civil society organizations are rightly termed as the ‘Fifth Pillar” of democracy – after the legislature, executive, judiciary and the media. It is now widely accepted that empowerment of civil society organizations has become a prerequisite for enhancing the efficacy of our democratic system.  

3.            The usefulness of civil society organizations is especially manifest when they work in partnership with local self governments such as municipal corporations since the latter are the direct democratic interface with the people for the delivery of a wide range of Constitutionally mandated civic services and amenities.  

4.            India is getting rapidly urbanized and cities have become the main engines of the country’s socio-economic progress. Therefore, Good City Governance is being increasingly seen as crucial for achieving holistic urban development and ensuring a better quality of life for all categories of urban populations. Hence, institutionalized partnership between municipal bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)/ civil society organizations (CSOs) is critical for promoting Good City Governance.   


II. Need to expedite urban renewal in Mumbai through institutionalized partnership between the MCGM and Civil Society Organizations  

1.            Mumbai has a long and proud tradition of civic activism dedicated to the cause of a better life for all its citizens belonging to diverse communities. Since the setting up of the Bombay Municipal Corporation in 1882 as India’s first municipal corporation, countless non-political groups and organizations of citizens have worked closely with the civic body in the fields of education, public health, creation of urban amenities, art and culture, heritage conservation, etc. However, the involvement of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the functioning of the Municipal Corporation has so far been ad-hoc and lacking an institutional basis. Hence, the partnership has not been able to pursue, on a sustainable basis, ambitious domain-specific goals, resulting in the non-realisation of the full potential of such partnership.  

2.            The challenges before city governance in Mumbai have grown enormously, both in quantum and complexity, in the past few decades due to rapid increase in the city’s population and a host of other factors. These challenges cannot be overcome without significantly broadbasing, deepening and institutionalizing the partnership between the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and NGOs/CSOs. The urgency and imperative necessity of forging this partnership has been sharply highlighted by the crisis that Mumbai experienced in the wake of the flooding on July 26, 2005.    

3.            It is in this context that the MCGM and the city’s civil society organizations, as represented by the NGO Council, have decided to enter into the following Memorandum of Understanding.


Text of the MoU


THIS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING made at Mumbai this 12th day of December, 2005, BETWEEN MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF GREATER MUMBAI, having its office at MCGM Building, Mahapalika Marg, Mumbai 400 001 and represented by its authorised representative Shri Subrat Ratho, Additional Municipal Commissioner, hereinafter referred to as “MCGM” of the First Part AND KARMAYOG by its authorised representative Shri Vinay Somani, having its office at Shreeniwas House, 2nd floor, H. Somani Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400 001, hereinafter referred to as “Karmayog” of the Second Part AND NGO COUNCIL by its authorised representatives Shri Vinay Somani  having address at Shreeniwas House, 2nd floor, H. Somani Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400 001, hereinafter referred to as “the NGO Council” of the Third Part and reference to the parties hereto shall, unless repugnant to the context or meaning thereof, mean and include their respective successors and assigns.  

   WHEREAS MCGM is a corporation formed under the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1882, discharging functions under the aforesaid Act;  

AND WHEREAS Karmayog is a website set up and organised by a Trust named Shri R. O. Somani Charitable Trust and the objective and functions of Karmayog are to disseminate information relating to civic matters and policies and procedures and to function as a networking platform and to co-ordinate the efforts and work of various citizens’ groups and Civil Society Organisations and to co-ordinate also with Government authorities and bodies and for these purposes to take all such actions as are required;  

AND WHEREAS Karmayog worked very closely with MCGM in the aftermath of the floods on 26th July 2005 to co-ordinate the activities of a number of NGOs who were interested in donating materials, providing services or directly assisting flood-affected persons.  

AND WHEREAS the NGO Council is a Council which has been formed at the instance of Shri Vinay Somani of Karmayog acting as Convenor to ensure co-ordination between the numerous NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, associations, not-for-profit-organizations and Trusts, which are concerned with better civic services and the welfare of the citizens and the NGO Council will function as a representative body of the various Organisations (as per the list attached);

AND WHEREAS it is considered useful and beneficial to citizens and to the MCGM and Government authorities to have a platform for easy communication and co-ordination of efforts;


AND WHEREAS the parties hereto are accordingly desirous of entering into this Memorandum of Understanding to record the terms on which they may work together.



   1)                        The parties hereto have agreed to institutionalize mutual partnership for the promotion of efficient delivery of civic services and matters concerning citizens.  For this purpose, it is further agreed that the MCGM shall include and involve NGOs and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in conceptualising and formulating policies, programmes and schemes, in their implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and in providing citizens’ feedback. 


   2)                        In recent times, Disaster Prevention and Management Plan has emerged as a critical component of better city governance. Experience, both in India and the world over, has shown that success of this plan hinges on the citizens’ active participation at all stages of the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.  Therefore, MCGM shall involve all stakeholders including the NGO Council and other CSOs while preparing a comprehensive Disaster Prevention and Management Plan.


   3)                         The other areas in which the parties have agreed to cooperate and collaborate are those mentioned in the Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution and the same are set out in the list annexed hereto.


   4)                        In respect of each of these areas in which members of the NGO Council may be interested or such others as may be mutually identified, the MCGM shall strive to prepare, in consultation with the NGO Council, and also through broadbased consultation with experts, professionals and stakeholders, Policy Guidelines and a Plan of Action.  These shall mention the commitments of the MCGM. These shall also mention the role of NGOs and other CSOs in ensuring the timely fulfillment of these commitments through creation of awareness, regular monitoring and feedback.


   5)                        For this purpose, the MCGM shall form steering groups for each functional area which is mutually identified with due representation for members of the NGO Council, experts and eminent citizens.


   6)                        The MCGM shall communicate the agreed Plan of Action to ward-level officials and to all relevant departmental officials and also to ensure that the tasks mentioned therein are carried out in an effective and timebound manner. The names of officers accountable for the fulfillment of each specific task may be made widely known to NGOs/CSOs concerned as well as to the public at large.  


   7)                        Since much of the MCGM’s public interface  is at the ward level, it shall be incumbent on all ward officers and departmental heads to promote participatory governance in the areas under their jurisdiction. For this purpose, they shall prepare their own Plans of Action, in consultation with the local CBOs, NGOs and other CSOs, and also involve these organisations in implementing and monitoring the Plans of Action.  


   8)                        The MCGM shall convene meetings with representatives of the NGO Council at regular intervals, such as monthly, and additional meetings may be convened as suggested by the NGO Council. The practice of regular meetings shall also be followed at the ward level and these shall be convened by the ward officers.


   9)                        Minutes of each meeting shall be maintained as per standard procedure.


   10)                    The Parties shall work together to introduce such reforms in the MCGM as may be necessary to promote Good City Governance.


   11)                    The Parties shall work together to promote greater coordination, under the aegis of the MCGM, of all the agencies that affect the lives of citizens of Mumbai.


   12)                    The MCGM shall review and improve, at all levels, from time to time, its system of redressal of citizens’ grievances and also empower NGOs and other CSOs to monitor the efficacy of the improved system.


   13)                    To give visible effect to the principle of Participatory Governance, MCGM officials shall attend public meetings convened by the NGO Council, in which citizens can freely express grievances, give feedback and make suggestions on improved city governance.


   14)                    The Parties shall work together to create mass awareness and also to promote civic responsibility among citizens.


   15)                    To promote transparency and accountability, the MCGM shall widely disseminate all necessary and regularly updated information about its policies, programmes and schemes to members of the public. 


   16)                    The Karmayog website shall be used for important information to be disseminated by MCGM and by the NGO Council and to act as an interface between MCGM, NGO Council, CSOs and the citizens.


   17)                    The parties hereto agree to co-ordinate with each other in a constructive manner.


   18)                    This MOU shall continue until terminated. The party terminating the MoU shall communicate the reasons for termination to the other party and these reasons may be made public.


   19)                    MCGM agrees to fund such activities, projects and events and also helplines and advice as the parties hereto may mutually agree upon.


   20)                    There shall be a yearly review of the implementation of this MoU and the contents of the review shall be made public.  

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties hereto have hereunto set and subscribed their respective hands the day and year first hereinabove written.  


SIGNED AND DELIVERED by the within-            )

named  MCGM by its Authorised                            )

representative  Shri  Subrat Ratho                            )                 sd/-

in the presence of  Geeta G. Dewoolkar                  )                                  



SIGNED AND DELIVERED by the within-            )

named  KARMAYOG by its Authorised                )

representative  Shri Vinay Somani                           )                 sd/-

in the presence of  J. G. Upadhyay                           )



SIGNED AND DELIVERED by the within-            )

named  NGO COUNCIL its Authorised                 )

representatives  Shri Vinay Somani                         )                 sd/-

in the presence of John Mathew                               )


Annexure 1  

A provision in the Indian Constitution read with the Twelfth Schedule provides the basis for the State Legislatures in India to assign the functions to the Municipalities in the respective States. The Twelfth Schedule in the Constitution lists the following eighteen functions, namely :

-        Urban planning including town planning;

-        Regulation of land use and construction of buildings;

-        Planning for economic and social development;

-        Roads and bridges;

-        Water supply for domestic, industrial and commercial purposes;

-        Public health, sanitation, conservancy and solid waste management;

-        Fire services;

-        Urban forestry, protection of the environment and promotion of ecological aspects;

-        Safeguarding the interests of weaker sections of society, including the handicapped and mentally retarded;

-        Slum improvement and upgradation;

-        Urban poverty alleviation;

-        Provision of urban amenities and facilities such as parks, gardens, playgrounds;

-        Promotion of cultural, educational and aesthetic aspects;

-        Burials and burial grounds; cremations, cremation grounds and electric crematoriums;

-        Cattle pounds, prevention of cruelty to animals;

-        Vital statistics including registration of births and deaths;

-        Public amenities including street lighting, parking lots, bus stops and public conveniences; and

-        Regulation of slaughterhouses and tanneries.