----- Original Message -----
From: "Karmayog.com"
To: <karmayog@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 4:18 PM
Subject: Fw: LACG Draft -- Lok Satta's comments

----- Original Message -----
From: Surendra Srivastava
To: Karmayog. com
Cc: Anant Shende ; Mayank Gandhi ; Subrat Ratho ; Ramesh Ramanathan ;
Loksatta Maharashtra Chapter
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2006 4:48 PM
Subject: Re: LACG Draft -- Area Sabha - your comments needed asap

Dear Vinay,
As requested earlier we would be obliged if you can circulate all the mail
communication between us to all NGO Council members as well as others so the
a meaningful debate can be started on LACG concept. We also request that a
meeting of NGO Council is called to discuss this important issue. We have
alredy flagged the important issues arrising out of LACG's proposed concept
and NGO Councils working.
Lok Satta

From: Karmayog.com
To: Loksatta Maharashtra Chapter
Cc: Subrat Ratho   Ramesh janaagrah Ramanathan ,
Jayaprakash Narayan , Surendra Srivastava, mayank gandhi
Date: Mar 2, 2006 7:22 PM

I wanted to finish drafting the LACG concept before seeing your email below.

The updated draft of "The Local Area Citizen Group - a Manual" is at
http://www.karmayog.com/cleanliness/lacgmanual.htm .

I will revert later reg. points that you have made.


From: Loksatta Maharashtra Chapter
Mailed-By: gmail.com

To: "Karmayog. com"
Cc: Subrat Ratho   Ramesh janaagrah Ramanathan ,
Jayaprakash Narayan , Surendra Srivastava, mayank gandhi
Date: Mar 1, 2006 2:28 PM

Dear  Shri Vinay Somani,

At the outset, we thank you for uploading on 20th Feb 06 - "LACG - A
practicing Manual" in its draft form. It is a laudable effort. This response
of Lok Satta is based mainly on, - (a) careful consideration of the exchange
of e-mails between our volunteers (Surendra & Mayank) and Karmayog; (b)
knowledge that you have talked with Shri Ramesh Ramanathan; and (c) your
presence during the meeting between Shri Subrat Ratho & Dr. Jayaprakash
Narayan on Friday (24th Feb) evening at Sahyadri State Guest house.

  Lok Satta believes in "Local Governance reforms - Which seek to
democratize, empower and decentralize the local governance. Which   seeks to
create a citizen participatory legitimate mechanism in order to   achieve
Local Self Governance? Which also seeks to make Local   Government
Accountable & Transparent?"

   Lok Satta believes that there is no dispute among the civil society with
the above goals.

There fore Primarily LOK SATTA would not be in favour of any arrangement/s
that dilutes in any degree the mandate of "LOCAL SELF-GOVERNANCE BY
EMPOWERING OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS" enshrined in the 74 th Amendment to the
Constitution of India & NURM.

The proposed arrangement by the Manual can be considered only as
semi-formal, if not completely informal, subjected to the danger of
discontinuation at the will of the BMC administration without any debate;
with these general observations, we now give our specific comments on the
arrangements envisaged under the Manual.

Point No. 1 -    The objective of the LACG appears to be a partnership (not
local self governance) between BMC and registered Groups like RWA's, CBO's,
Association of Shopkeepers, Association of Hawkers, Cooperative societies

Comments:     Lok Satta feels that LACG in the above format emphasises that
citizens must come as a registered group to participate in LACG. This will
straight away divide the society on the basis of their special interests.
The requirement, to be a registered cooperative society, involves costs,
taxation issues and internal governance issues. The arrangement needs to
encourage automatic participation in LACG by citizens irrespective of their
status, cast & other interests. The concept must promote the interest and
welfare of a given geographical area leaving aside the individual group
interests. Lastly LACG as a registered cooperative society itself requires
serious thoughts in terms of its own constitution, functioning etc.

Point No. 2 -    LACG proposes that each of 24 AMC's (as came out in meeting
on Friday) to divide the Geographical Area of their Administrative Ward into
about 125 areas for LACG's functioning. That will come to 8 to 12 LACGs per
Corporator / councilor ward.

Comments:     The numbers appear arbitrary since they are neither based on
corporator wards nor polling booths, each of which is a known and defined
entity. Ramesh has already suggested to keep 3 -5 polling booths together if
LACG is must.

Point No. 3 -    LACG proposes that a nodal officer will be appointed by BMC
at ward level to deal with LACG's.

Comments:     What will be the level of quality / qualification of this
nodal officer? We feel that there are enormous HR issues in BMC. What will
be his authority on the decision of LACG?   For one Nodal officer to deal
with 125 LACG, appears humanly impossible. What are the accountability
mechanisms to make that Nodal officer responsible for failure to deliver? We
could not find answers to these areas of concern in the Manual.

Point No. 4 -    LACG proposes that Ward Officer (AMC) of each
administrative ward will have monthly meeting with all 125 LACG's
represented by 40 / 50 persons.

Comments:     This may put an enormous burden on the time of the officer,
who may not be willing to do so. There is a possibility that this may become
another platform for individual complaints. What is the democratic system
that will decide who these 40 / 50 persons will be?

Point No. 5 -    LACG proposes 13 functions for LACG.

Comments:     How these functions are going to be discharged? Unless there
exist provisions to ensure that a decision of LACG is implemented by the
Nodal Officer, and if not implemented, what is the recourse available for
LACG, the provision of functions will become meaningless.

Point No. 6 -    LACG proposes no role for the elected councilors.

Comments:     We do not think that it is desirable to marginalize the
Corporators, who are answerable and accountable to his/her voters. This
would be completely contrary to the letter and spirit of Constitutional
Amendment on local self-governance. This aspect requires serious thinking,
since in democratic governance system the role of elected representatives
cannot be undermined. The elected representatives are also great mobilisers
of public opinion; hence they need to be given a role to build this
partnership on sound footing.

Point No. 7 -    LACG proposes that NGO council representative will be
actively involved.

Comments:     We would like to know the mechanism for choosing this
representative. In fact, this raises a pertinent issue and a note of caution
for you. We request you to call a meeting of NGO Council to discuss the
entire proposal and to obtain their consent.

We suggest that you should invite a serious debate on this proposal
immediately. The starting point of the debate could well be the circulation
of all the communications exchanged between Lok Satta volunteers
(Surendra/Mayank) and Karmayog and calling of an NGO council meeting to
discuss these issues.

                                                    With regards

Anant Shende
Chapter - Coordinator
Lok Satta - Maharashtra Chapter
If India wins, who loses ?

On 2/23/06, Surendra Srivastava wrote:
Dear Subrat,

I am trying to reach you over your cell. Dr. JP can meet us tomorrow
evening. Could you let me know if you are free around 7:30 PM tomorrow.


Lok Satta

On 2/22/06, Surendra Srivastava wrote:
Dear Vinay,

I could not open the new LACG draft on your website. It is possible to send
me the same in word file on e-mail with cc to Mr. Shende & Mr. Gandhi.


Lok Satta

On 2/22/06, Karmayog.com wrote:

will revert.

----- Original Message -----
From: Surendra Srivastava
To: Karmayog.com
Cc: ramesh ramanathan ; Anant Shende ; Mayank Gandhi ; Subrat Ratho
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 10:43 AM
Subject: Re: LACG Draft -- Area Sabha - your comments needed asap

Dear Vinay,

Pardon my ignorance. Could you tell me who will be the members of LACG.
Every citizen OR only RWA/ALMS etc.

You said that these 8 -12 LACG's will connect to Councilor wards. What is
the model of Councilor Ward Administration, as today it does not exist
barring that a councilor gets elected.

What will be the role of councilor. Will he participate in 8 - 12 LACG's.


Lok Satta

On 2/22/06, Karmayog.com wrote: 
Dear Surendra,
Thank you for your call.
I also spoke with Ramesh at length. All matters resolved. He suggested
adding the following clause which we shall:
"The boundary of each LACG shall be suitably modified to accomodate full
polling booth footprints if any future amendment of the MMC Act or legal
statute so requires it. "

----- Original Message -----
From: Surendra Srivastava
To: Karmayog.com
Cc: ramesh ramanathan ; Anant Shende ; Mayank Gandhi ; Subrat Ratho
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 4:42 PM
Subject: Re: LACG Draft -- Area Sabha - your comments needed asap

Dear Vinay,

I will call you if you are not getting me.

I am happy for very stimulating discussion that we are having. It clarifies
one's own thoughts + brings all issues on table so when we meet we can
address them.

Please keep letting know where & why you are opposed to the concepts of"

1- Area Sabha
2- Electoral (Councilor) ward committee.

I am also awaiting meeting time from Mr. Ratho.


Lok Satta
If India wins, who loses ?

On 2/21/06, Karmayog.com wrote:

Dear Surendra
Please ....... these emails are not helpful.
They are missing the point.
I tried to phone you but your phone was only ringing.

----- Original Message -----
From: Surendra Srivastava
To: Karmayog.com
Cc: ramesh ramanathan ; Anant Shende ; Mayank Gandhi ; Subrat Ratho
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 4:15 PM
Subject: Re: LACG Draft -- Area Sabha - your comments needed asap

Dear Vinay,

Now we are on two concepts as being discussed in the presentation:

1- Area Sabha
2- Ward Committee at electoral (Councilor) ward level.

Your issues on first:

a- Too many numbers - 8333 VS 3000. Issue needs to be looked at is that 3000
excludes many citizens who may not be part of any RWA OR NGO. Legitimacy of
each RWA & NGO can not be ascertained from democratic point of view hence
their accountability ?
b- Too many in numbers to deal with councilor ward - 36 VS 8-12. The issue
is taken care of as one representative of each area sabha is a part of
councilor ward committee which is a democratic institution while
administrative wards are not democratic hence accountability ??. In any case
their is no administrative mechanism exists currently at councilor ward
level. There fore LACG will have to coordinate at administrative ward level
headed by AMC. Therefore in effect 125 LACG would coordinate with one
administrative ward. (125 X 24 = 3000) and not 8-12.
c- Foot print dividing building & complexes. Issue needs examination & valid
but solution needs to be found.
d- Local Self Govt VS BMC-Civil Society partnership. LSG is a better model
as it goes beyond partnership. The accountability also shifts to citizens.
Now citizen will run their own govt & be responsible for their own
e- Political Structure VS Apolitical - In a democracy we have to deal with
political structures and if they are not functioning than let us try &
correct them. Alternate to democracy can only be better democracy.

Your issues on second:

1- Business interests in business district and its dynamics. Please see
detailed proposals on Electoral (Councilor Ward Committee)
2- Any other issue ??? please let me know.

I think mails are bringing all issues on the table and will help discussing
in meeting.


Lok Satta

On 2/21/06, Karmayog.com  wrote:

our concerns are certainly not taken care of by the EWC.
these emails are not helping to resolve matters.

----- Original Message -----
From: Surendra Srivastava
To: Karmayog.com
Cc: ramesh ramanathan ; Anant Shende ; Mayank Gandhi ; Subrat Ratho
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 3:18 PM
Subject: Re: LACG Draft -- Area Sabha - your comments needed asap

Dear Vinay,

I think, I did explain the concept of Electoral Ward Committee during the
presentation. That takes care of the issues now you have raised. Please also
see copy of draft of BMC act amendments that were circulated earlier.
Electoral Ward Committee (Councilor Ward) proposals are defined with its
composition & functions. It also provides representation to business
interests in a given councilor(electoral ward). Your concerns are taken care

As Ramesh said a face to face dialogue could explain concerns. Ramesh has
spent last 6/7 years on URBAN GOVERNANCE issues and no body could explain
better than him. Good opportunity for all of us.


Lok Satta

On 2/21/06, Karmayog.com  wrote:

2. We have already listed in the table. What else do you want?
You want to disregard Councillor Wards. We don't.
You want to disregard the fact that local areas such as Nariman Point have
their own dynamics and issues. We don't.
You are coming from a political context - top down or bottom up. We are not.
We are coming from the context of existing BMC admin and political
structures. You are not.
How much more to explain?

4. Fine.

----- Original Message -----
From: Surendra Srivastava
To: Karmayog.com
Cc: ramesh ramanathan ; Anant Shende ; Mayank Gandhi ; Subrat Ratho
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 2:41 PM
Subject: Re: LACG Draft -- Area Sabha - your comments needed asap

Dear Vinay,

1- I think Ramesh has a good suggestion & let us have conference call OR go
to Bangalore OR wait for him to come to Mumbai. If Mr. Ratho joins will be
great otherwise let us go & we can brief Mr. Ratho on our return.
2- Vinay, please help us examine your issues with Area Sabha foot prints.
Unless you list your reservation, how we can do that. Please list your
3- Just now I saw a mail from Mayank. He has made valid & crucial points.
Let us examine them as
4. Dr. JP will be in town from 23rd to 25th as part of 2nd 5 member
Administrative Reforms commission. They are state guests. I am awaiting for
his full program. I trust Mr. Ratho & you will find time to meet him at
short notice if possible. I will sincerely try.


Lok Satta

On 2/21/06, Karmayog.com wrote:

Dear Surendra

If you disagree with LACG, then we do need to meet. I wish you had stated
this before instead of this whole interchange of emails.
a) I leave it you and Mr. Ratho to fix a meeting at your convenience. I
normally have a flex schedule.
b) I think it is critical that Ramesh, and possibly JP, be there at the
c) I do not at all like  the idea of a large team from your side being at
the meeting. It is very difficult for people to speak up in front of a large
d) The meeting should focus on LACG alone and not on the Lok Satta proposal.
e) If you would like to discuss the Lok Satta proposal with Mr. Ratho, there
should be a separate meeting, which I would be also happy to join in.
f) I think it is important that you study the proposed LACG concept and then
specifically comment w.r.t. to each of the remarks.
g) FYI, I am quite clear in my mind that polling booth as a footprint is not
correct for the LACG concept.


----- Original Message -----
From: Surendra Srivastava
To: Karmayog.com
Cc: ramesh ramanathan ; Anant Shende ; Mayank Gandhi ; Subrat Ratho
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 11:23 AM
Subject: Re: LACG Draft -- Area Sabha - your comments needed asap

Dear Vinay,

In Area Sabha concept, we are proposing that all registered citizens will
automatically be member giving them a legitimate platform for "Local Self
governance", be poor, middle class or rich. It is further proposed that all
informal arrangements ("in democracy") like registered society, Self help
groups, NGO's etc will connect with "Area Sabha" for capacity building &
assisting in Local self Governance with their area of expertise. I think
therefore there is no need to have another set up like LACG. Please think it
through carefully. Effective Local Self Governance takes care of all the
issues that are being targeted by LACG and that too with less  burden on BMC
administration which can then will have time and energy to look at long term
issues. What area sabha is doing is making citizens accountable.

Please feel, think and then act. I have already requested for time with Mr.
Ratho and awaiting his response.


Lok Satta

On 2/21/06, Karmayog.com  wrote:
Dear Surendra,

I believe Mr. Ratho sees no clash between Area Sabhas and LACG.
My team member has also made a comparison table below which shows that there
is no clash.
So I have no issues now. So we do not need to meet reg. the footprint. The
matter is now closed from my side.
Your idea of listing things clearly brought about this table. Thanks.
The table will be included in the LACG draft document for everyone to


Comparison between the concept of the Area Sabha and the Local Area Citizen
Group in the context of Mumbai city

[does not come properly in text format -- see LACG document on website]
----- Original Message -----
From: Surendra Srivastava
To: Karmayog. com
Cc: ramesh ramanathan ; Anant Shende ; Mayank Gandhi ; Subrat Ratho
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 4:22 PM
Subject: Re: LACG Draft -- Area Sabha - your comments needed asap

Dear Vinay,

I think you need to list out the issues against the area sabha in the
context that you seeing. From your mail I could see only two:

1- Numbers are too large (8500).
2- The residents of one building OR complex gets divided in to two or more
area sabhas

Please arrange to list out all the issues so that it can be precisely

On the other issues, I feel you should be bothered and please send your
observations & reservation. It is very important for VOTE MUMBAI Campaign to
deliberate each & every issue / opinion before a final agenda comes out of
such deliberations.
I am already in touch with Mr. Ratho on VOTE MUMBAI Campaign on a regular
basis like with others. He was also invited for 18th Presentation but looks
like he got stuck some where else. Any way presentation copy has been sent
to him.

On 2/20/06, Karmayog.com wrote:
Dear Surendra,

There are other serious points too regarding having polling booths as LACGs
as I pointed out in the earlier emails. To again quote our team member: "
Basically I am not in disagreement with the Area Sabha concept at all - it
is just not tailor-made for the purpose that we require, hence LACG was
developed. " I don't think a large group to discuss the footprint is a good
idea.  I need to mull over it. I will wait for Ramesh's response and then
talk to him on the phone and then decide on next steps for discussion.

Reg. a meeting on other issues with Mr. Ratho, I think it is better if you
fix a date with him as per your mutual convenience and desire. I will join
in -- more as an observer. The other issues do not impinge on LACG so I am
not so bothered about them even though I think there are some 'fatal flaws'
/ assumptions. But that's my individual opinion and not relevant.


----- Original Message -----
From: Surendra Srivastava
To: Karmayog. com
Cc: ramesh ramanathan ; Anant Shende ; Mayank Gandhi ; Subrat Ratho
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 3:14 PM
Subject: Re: LACG Draft -- Area Sabha - your comments needed asap

Dear Vinay,

The foot print issue can not be looked in isolation.  These are all
connected issues. Therefore while I am willing to meet individually, it is
better that  other VOTE MUMBAI Core group participant are part of
discussion. The list is part of VOTE MUMBAI Campaign draft charter earlier
circulated. They are more than two dozen and more and more are invited. I
don't know how many will find time on an appointed day. Dr. JP is in town
between 23rd & 25th Feb hence avoid these days. Let us also have views of
Ramesh whom you have marked these mails.

We can have two meetings if you like.

If I understand you correctly you have primarily two issues with the AREA
SABHA Concept as being discussed by VOTE MUMBAI CORE GROUP.

1- Numbers are too large (8500).
2- The residents of one building OR complex gets divided in to two or more
area sabhas.

Any other point ????



On 2/20/06, Karmayog.com  wrote:
Dear Surendra,

1. noted. So you are flexible about the footprint. Thanks.

2a. will check ppt
2b. whose comments those are is not relevant at this stage.
2c. the debate is already open at karmayog yahoo group. my views reg. area
sabha and your response were both circulated earlier and are in the Lok
Satta section in www.karmayog.org home page.

3. yes, that is clear.

4. how big is your core team?
there need to be 2 sets of meetings.
One meeting to simply to discuss the footprint. For this, I would think that
you along with one more person should suffice.
Second meeting for any other issues that you may have. The agenda for that
can be discussed in the first meeting. That is part of your 'public
consultation' approach anyway, isn't it?


----- Original Message -----
From: Surendra Srivastava
To: Karmayog.com
Cc: ramesh ramanathan ; Anant Shende ; Mayank Gandhi ; Subrat Ratho
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 1:02 PM
Subject: Re: LACG Draft -- Area Sabha - your comments needed asap

Dear Vinay,

1- You know that VOTE MUMBAI Campaign is going for public consultations &
all views are welcomed and the final agenda will be the out come of these
public consultations.
2- Mayank has already uploaded the PPT. If you see the area sabha is not for
political activism but for "seeking Local Self Governance". Please see the
functional mapping attached to PPT.
We also need to know whos comments are these since that will help to bring
them to consultation process and will help understanding & accommodating
differing views.
We also need to throw open this debate to all if you permit through
Karmayog. The views of those who participated ALM's & LACC in the past could
be very relevant.
3- What VOTE MUMBAI Campaign is seeking is legitimacy by Law (BMC Act).
4- For the meeting with Mr. Ratho, I would suggest entire core team of VOTE
MUMBAI which includes almost all stake holders should interact.

Let us meet.



On 2/20/06, Karmayog.com  wrote:
Dear Surendra and others,


4. I had set it up with Mr. Ratho for 9th Feb as that was a holiday. I
couldn't get thru to you on your mobile. So I emailed and SMSed you. Anyway,
doesn't matter.

5a) 1:425 vs. 1:4250 vs. 1: 1800 --- two sides of the coin e.g. govt close
to the people OR too much govt. Needs to be thought through.
b) I did not understand your calculation of 35 Area Sabhas interacting with
a BMC ward committee. Will re-read your earlier emails but that is not

6. All your points reg. 5 can be incorporated in the LACG concept.

For a meeting with Mr. Ratho, who all will be there from your side? From my
perspective before the meeting, it is important to know " what happens to
your plans if LACG gets implemented in Mumbai? Will you still push for Area
Sabhas here?" It seems to me that you will not be able to or willing to
change your stand.

When will you upload the Sat 18th presentation?

Below is a comment on your email from one of our team members.

"More discussion needed with surendra and ramesh on the area sabha concept
and LACG. though I don't see them changing their view at all. Maybe we can
have some kind of integration / meeting point of the 2, where 4-5 Area
Sabhas form an LACG - so numbers remain the same - around 5000. [I am not if
favour of this .... Vinay]

"Not sure about the geographic / physical distribution of such a structure,
though, i.e. whether it will be as easily and logically
identifiable as the proposed LACG. Some larger housing complexes would get
split into 2 Area Sabhas, for instance.

"I am also not so convinced about the power / responsibility / rights of the
"voter". LACG is more concerned with ensuring the upliftment of their area -
voting and political activism is not the primary driving force - as is for
the Area Sabha concept. And LACG is focussed on Municipal Services - not on
poverty alleviation and social equality, etc. The LACG concept has been
designed with a focussed (narrow from Lok satta's angle, maybe) viewpoint -
yes, it does fit into the 17 stakeholders that the Area Sabha addresses -
but in a general way.

Having too many legitimate structures is also not desirable - so need to
decide on whether to have both, and if yes, how, etc?"


----- Original Message -----
From: Surendra Srivastava
To: karmayog
Cc: ramesh ramanathan ; Anant Shende ; Mayank Gandhi ; Subrat Ratho
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 11:06 AM
Subject: Re: LACG Draft -- Area Sabha - your comments needed asap

Dear Vinay,

1- Thanks. Thanks for joining & actively participating.

2- Ramesh will respond to you in detail & separately.

3- If you recall that Mr. Shende as well as me had mentioned in detail that
Ramesh was to give this presentation & reasons why he could not make it to
Mumbai and why was at the same time he was in Delhi attending meeting in
URBAN DEVELOPMENT ministry for ensuring the mandatory disclosure norms &
community participation (AREA SABHA) to be integral part of NURM tool kit.
On the side line if you recall, I had also mentioned to you that for this
presentation I had gone to meet Ramesh on Thursday last & that Ramesh made
the PPT. If you further refer to the minutes of first meeting for VOTE
MUMBAI Campaign, you will find that meeting was initiated & conducted by
Ramesh. These minutes have been widely circulated by VOTE MUMBAI Campaign as
well as KARMAYOG. You will also recall that Ramesh had earlier presented
this presentation to smaller group & you had met Ramesh there. This leaves
no doubt that Ramesh is not only fully involved but also leading this
campaign not only in Mumbai but also in Rajesthan and URBAN MINISTRY in
Delhi. Yes physically he may not be Mumbai for every event due to his

4- You will recall my mail last week where I had requested you to arrange
meeting with Mr. Ratho. I had also marked the mail to Shri Ratho.  Except
this Friday we can meet any other day during this week. Let me know.

5- While there will be a detailed response, Vinay let me draw you attention
to one of the slides where a comparison was made between Rural & Urban
political representation. Rural has one representative per 425 people while
Mumbai has one representatives per 55/60000 people. Even if we go for 8000
Area Sabhas we still will have one representative for about 2000 people.
There for numbers of Area Sabha are not worrying. Secondly The Area Sabha
need not coordinate with BMC but a ward committee at electoral ward level.
Therefore one ward committee which will have executive authority will
coordinate with about 35 area sabhas as compared to 3000 LACG coordinating
with one BMC OR 125 LACG coordinating with one municipal administrative
Second issue is the legitimacy of informal players like RWA etc. In any
structure that we propose we need to consider the legitimate players i/e
VOTER since she/he alone can seek for accountability through his voting
right & now with right to recall as proposed.
Secondly what citizens should not look only a platform for grievances. We
need to have a clear cut geographical jurisdiction in sinc not only for
municipal services but also others like poverty elevation programs etc.
Unless we have single jurisdiction, administration can not function & that
is what is one of the current problem.
The time also has come where citizen should also become accountable. The
Area Sabha concept that is proposed includes each & every citizen there fore
now they can't blame others. Having provided a legitimate platform to every
citizen the responsibility shifts to them to participate other wise they
can't complain.
In the presentation all the URBAN GOVERNANCE CHALLENGES were  highlighted
and there fore we need better HR, technical & professional skill and MIS
system. These issues require political will. Area Sabhas, Ward Committees,
Corporation & Directly elected Mayor together brings that on the table. In
democracy the political responsibility can not be that of any one other than

6- Vinay it is a good intended effort like ALMs & LACC concepts but
primafacies it does not take care few key issues as high lighted above.

6- Let us meet & discuss.



On 2/19/06, karmayog wrote:
Dear Ramesh and Surendra,

The presentation today was excellent. Issues have really been thought out in
detail and well analysed.

Ramesh, I am not sure how involved you are in the conceptual thinking of
Vote Mumbai, but since you'll prepared the presentation sort of together, I
presume you are and hence this joint email to you'll.

I have been wanting to have a serious discussion with your core team
members - preferably along with Mr. Ratho whom you'll know well - on the
concept of Area Sabha. But Surendra, you seem to have been travelling a lot
or maybe I did not chase properly .... anyway we have not been able to do

Mr. Ratho and we have been having discussions regarding a similar concept
which has been called in the enclosed document as a Local Area Citizen
Group. This concept evolved out of the public BMC-ALM related meetings held
on 6th and 9th Jan which was also reported on in TOI. The first draft had
been circulated then in the Karmayog yahoo group. We then got caught up in
the proposed littering and segregation rules and couldn't work on this. The
2nd draft finally got made yesterday as I informed today morning in the
yahoo group. (The draft is enclosed as a word doc with this email. It is
confidential for you'll two. Other people should always be referred to the
latest drafts which will be in the ALM / LACC section in www.karmayog.org .
The url for that should remain www.karmayog.com/cleanliness/lacgmanual.htm
.) The 3rd draft should be ready on Mon / Tue.

One main point that I want to discuss is the footprint of an LACG.

The Area Sabha is a polling booth. I think this is logical from the Vote
India angle as the entire thought process is from a political angle.

In LACG, we have looked at it from the BMC administrative-cum-political
angle. As I pointed out in an email, we too considered polling booths but
realised that the number of polling booths are too many for Mumbai (8100) to
engage with effectively by BMC, they are unconnected with Councillor Wards,
the number of citizens covered are too small (1800) to justify the
empowerment, there does not seem to be a 'logical' reasoning behind the
geographical coverage of a polling booth, etc.

5 of the 24 ward officers have delineated the possible LACG areas in their
ward based on a sample map of Councillor Ward no. 3 in A ward -
www.karmayog.com/cleanliness/awardcw3map.htm. 2 sets of these maps are
uploaded in Karmayog viz. for
   - E ward- www.karmayog.com/cleanliness/ewardlacg.htm
   - G North ward - www.karmayog.com/cleanliness/gnwardlacg.htm
The others will be uploaded as received so that citizens can comment.
Hopefully all 24 wards will complete the exercise over the next 2 weeks.

I have two urgent questions:

a) is it ok to call LACGs as Area Sabhas or will it cause confusion for
citizens and your cause and supporters as I presume that it will be a
concept that you will push for all cities of India? Also whether you would
prefer it be called Area Sabha so that it can strengthen your cause
elsewhere in India?

b) what happens to your plans if LACG gets implemented in Mumbai? Will you
still push for Area Sabhas here?

And, of course, please let me know what all you think is wrong with the
various points mentioned in the LACG document. And what else should be
covered? Your presentation seemed to me to focus more on the justification,
need, logic, etc. of the Area Sabha. The LACG draft tries to focus more on
the working mechanics of it. If you'll have thought through some of the
working aspects once Area Sabhas are established, please do share.

I know you'll are both very busy but I would appreciate your inputs i.e. of
Lok Satta / Vote Mumbai and of Janaagraha asap as I hope that we will now be
moving fast with the LACG concept, and at least I am hoping for
institutionalising this in 2 months. Of course, fingers crossed. :-)

Ramesh, thanks for the books. I have sent a cheque to Janagraaha for Rs.
500. I hope you don't mind.
Can you please email the white paper on 'sustainable cities' by Swati? Also
the 74th CAA or a link to it?

Surendra thanks for carrying the books as hand-baggage -- they were not
light in weight.