Jaipur, November 26, 2021
Inadequate devolution of funds, functions and autonomy to urban local bodies in Rajasthan is major challenge for city development and reason behind poor performance under various schemes such as Swachh Bharat. These were the concerns expressed by Mayors, Dy Mayors and chairpersons of urban local bodies at Jaipur today on Nov. 26, 2021 in a Mayors’ Conference organised by CUTS International jointly with NITI Aayog and The Asia Foundation under the Rajasthan City Mayors Learning Platform.
Abhijeet Kumar, Mayor, Bharatpur Municipal Corporation highlighted various good practices in urban governance from developed countries. He also appreciated the effort of CUTS to organise Mayors’ conference. The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1993 approved the establishment of urban local bodies (ULBs) or city governments as the lowest level of government in cities and towns, as well as the devolution of powers to them. However, objective of 74th Constitutional Amendment is not achieved. He also suggested municipal election should be free from party politics. He further added that state should share financial resource with ULBs to deliver civic services.
George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS said that lack of resources available with urban local bodies (ULBs) and delegation of powers from state to ULBs are major challenges for city development. He further said, there are several other larger issues, which need to address at higher level of decision makers such as city mayors. CUTS created a ‘Rajasthan City Mayors’ Learning Platform (RCMLP)’ in 2015 in partnership with The Asia Foundation with specific objective to improve the urban governance in state through enhanced sharing of experiences and learning from each other. Since then, a series of Mayors’ Conferences are successfully organised in different cities of Rajasthan where City Mayors and Deputy Mayors took part to discuss the challenges and opportunities of their respective cities.
Manju Mehra, Mayor, Kota Municipal Corporation (North) said City Mayors’ Learning Platform should be replicate in each municipal corporation. It will bridge the gap among elected representatives and concerned officials on the issue of urban governance. Sanjeev Kumar Pandey, Additional Director, Dept. of Local Self highlighted various government schemes and initiatives on urban governance. He shared various best practices in Rajasthan on urban governance. He also said we should document worst practices and learn from them.
Punit Karnawat, Deputy Mayor, Jaipur Municipal Corporation Greater discussed various key issue in ULBs. Without giving autonomy to elected representative, it is difficult to achieve any SDG goals or improving the basic services. Neeraj Jain, Deputy Mayor, Ajmer Municipal Corporation said elected members need more training and capacity building on urban governance issues. Mayors’ Learning Platform will help discuss and find the Urban governance challenges’ solutions.
Dr. Debolina Kundu, Professor, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New Delhi presented about urban governance challenges in Rajasthan. She suggested that ULBs need more autonomy to work effectively. Milind Mhaske, Director, Praja Foundation, Mumbai presented how condition of cities can be improved by empowering ULBs. He discussed Urban Governance Index, 2021 and good practices on urban governance around India, however cities of Rajasthan have poor performance according to the study.
Mayors, Deputy Mayors, Chairpersons of selected ULBs of various cities of Rajasthan shared their view on urban governance in the technical session was moderated by Purushottam Biyani, Former Director, Dept. of LSG, Govt. of Rajasthan. He highlighted importance of Mayors’ Learning Platform and devolution of funds and functional autonomy in ULBs. Amar Deep Singh, Senior Programme Officer CUTS presented the key findings of the study report: ‘Urban Local Governance in Rajasthan-Challenges and Opportunities’ in the Conference.
For more information, please contact:
Amar Deep Singh, Senior Programme Officer/Amit Babu, Programme Officer, Mob: 9314617532; 7032231698
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