GUWAHATI, July 9 – Charging that the absence of an elected body in the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has badly affected the transparency in the civic body, the Mahanagar Unnayan Samity, Guwahati has said that by not conducting general elections for the civic body, the government is depriving the citizens of their right of self-governance.
The Samity, which has been fighting a legal battle for the cause since 2010, also said that presently, the corporation has become an organisation controlled by bureaucracy with scope for high handness without any justice for the citizen or any prescribed method for the people to appeal against any grievances.
In a recent hearing of the Special Leave Petition S/17472/2012 filed by the Samity member and advocate Aparajita Sharma, the Supreme Court has asked the State government to reply on the charges of violation of article 243 /U of the Indian Constitution.
It may be mentioned here that the general council of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation stands dissolved since May, 2008.
“The State government would have to respond within six weeks the reason behind the absence of local self governance in the Guwahati Municipal Corporation,” Subodh Sharma, president of Mahanagar Unnayan Samity told The Assam Tribune.
“For past several years, we have been fighting against the encroachment upon the right of Guwahatians to elect their own representatives in the civic body. By not holding elections, the government is blatantly violating the provisions of the GMC Act 1971,” he added.
“Earlier, people had an option to approach the local councilors with their grievances, but now, there is no proper mechanism to lodge complaints and it is almost impossible to keep track of the developmental works being carried out in a particular ward or the money spent on a particular project. The State government has abolished public participation in the civic governance,” Sharma alleged asking the State Government to hold election of GMC immediately in conformity to the GMC Act 1971.