Mangaluru: Ward Committee training workshop held to strengthen civic participation

News Network
January 6, 2022

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Mangaluru, Jan 6: To strengthen civic participation and facilitate ward committee meetings with citizens in Mangaluru, Mangaluru City Corporation and Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy organised a Ward Committee training workshop for the newly appointed Ward Committee members on Thursday at Kundmul Rangarao Townhall.

Inaugurating the programme, Mangaluru Mayor Premanand Shetty said that Ward Committees act as link between the ward residents and Corporators who represent the Mangaluru City Corporation. 

“Mangaluru is the second city in the state to implement Ward Committees. The members have many responsibilities. They need to assess the facilities and infrastructure in the ward, ensure Solid Waste Management happens effectively, ensure timely collection of taxes, prepare and submit ward development scheme to the Corporation among others. Hence, it is important that Ward Committees meet every month to enhance transparency, accountability and smooth functioning,” the Mayor said.

“There are a few criteria for one to become a ward committee member. In some wards, we could not find eligible applicants. We will be taking steps in the future days to invite applicants in these wards and hence strengthen the ward committees to function in its full capacity,” the Mayor added.

“Ward Committees are a constitutional mandate. There were some challenges in forming Ward Committees in Mangaluru. But this was because we wanted to ensure it happens in a proper and transparent manner. We invited applications, objections and even assessed every objection we received. We worked with the Police Commissioner to verify the profiles of the Ward Committee applicants and then the final list was released. We are open to changes if any issues, even in the future. We want citizens to have confidence in this decentralized process,” said Mangaluru City Commissioner Akshy Sridhar.

“To ensure Ward Committees function smoothly, we need to have a collaborative approach and not a conflict approach. Ward Committees need to work as a consulting body where problems can be discussed and solutions can be thought about and implemented,” Sridhar added.

Speaking on the commencement of Ward Committees, the dates and venues will be announced at the earliest, Sridhar said.

Sapna Karim, Head, Civic Participation, Janaagraha, resource person for the Workshop, explained functions of Ward Committees, responsibilities of the Ward Committee members as well as the process on how Ward Committees meetings need to be held.

“Ward Committees are a starting point of governance that a citizen can engage with. It empowers citizens to vote on local decisions. Helps implement ''bottom-up" approach in planning and budgeting. Ward Committees play a key role in planning, prioritizing, supervising & validating civic works,” Sapna added.

Dr Shikaripura Krishnamurthy, Director, Abhiyanam, Organisation for Research and Training in HRD said that Ward Committees play a key role in deciding the development of the Ward. He said that every member needs to assess the facilities in the ward and grade the ward. Only then, one can get a clear idea on what the ward lacks and how it can be developed. Each ward member should inculcate a competitive spirit to make their ward the best, he added.

Ward Committee Training Workshop for Councillors and Nodal Officers

A Ward Committee Training Workshop was held for Councillors and Nodal Officers at MCC Council Hall on Wednesday.

The workshop was taken up by Sapna Karim, Head, Civic Participation, Janaagraha and Dr Shikaripura Krishnamurthy, Director, Abhiyanam, Organisation for Research and Training in HRD.

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About Janaagraha 

Janaagraha is a non-profit trust, working towards the mission of transforming the quality of life in India’s cities and towns. Founded in 2001 by Ramesh Ramanathan and Swati Ramanathan, it started as a movement to include people’s participation in public governance and has now evolved into a robust institution for citizenship and democracy. The core idea of Janaagraha’s work does not revolve around fixing problems but instead seeking to fix the system that can solve the problems. To achieve this objective, Janaagraha works with citizens to catalyse active citizenship in city neighbourhoods and with governments to institute reforms to city governance (what we call “City-Systems”). 

We believe that improved quality of life is directly linked to improved quality of infrastructure, services, and citizenship. Janaagraha hence works at intersections to fix the city systems across law, policy, institutions with a specific focus on sectors such as Climate Change, Gender Equality & Public Safety, Water and Sanitation, Education, and Public Health using tools and activities like Civic Participation, Municipal Finance, Advocacy and instilling 21st Century skills among youth to empower them to become active citizens. By strengthening urban capacities and resources, Janaagraha aims to achieve its mission of improving City Systems and Quality of life.

In January 2021, Janaagraha had organized participatory budgeting initiative MyCityMyBudget in Mangaluru. Over 1000 Mangaluru citizens submitted inputs how Mangaluru budget needs to be spent, which was later made into a report and submitted to the MCC.

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News Network
January 11,2022

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Bengaluru, Jan 11: Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka assembly, Siddaramaiah on Tuesday charged the ruling BJP with not implementing the Mekedatu project to expand its political base in Tamil Nadu.

Joining the padayatra organised by the Congress party demanding speedy implementation of the project on its third day, Siddaramaiah said: "To make its roots stronger in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, the ruling BJP is not implementing the project in the state. They are betraying the people of Karnataka for political gains. The padayatra is being organised not to give BJP any opportunity in this regard. There is only the state's interest in conducting the padayatra."

Reacting to state Home Minister Araga Jnanedra's warning that the Congress will have to take responsibility if there is a spurt in cases and a lockdown has to be announced, Siddaramaiah dubbed it as an irresponsible statement.

"Previous lockdowns have pushed the life of the common public to the brink. If at all the government wants to announce a lockdown, let them release compensation to organised and unorganised sector workers," he said.

The party workers from 11 assembly constituencies have arrived in Kanakapur city to participate in the padayatra. Party workers from Hassan, Mandya, Tumakuru, Chikkaballapur and Kolar will join the padayatra in the coming days. People are coming forward to join the rally voluntarily. This shows their interest in the Mekedatu project, he explained.

The BJP in Karnataka didn't show any interest in implementing the project between 2008 and 2013 when it was in power. "We came to power in May 2013. With the intention to implement it by September, we prepared a DPR and presented it before the Cauvery Water Tribunal. When we were in power, the BJP government at the Centre didn't allow us to take up the project. Now, the BJP is at the Centre as well as ruling in the state. People have elected 25 MPs from the state so why has it not been implemented," questioned Siddaramaiah.

"We are not scared of FIRs. The BJP cannot threaten us by lodging cases. Why are there no cases against Union Ministers of State Shobha Karandlaje, Bhagavanth Khooba who took part in public functions and rallies?" he said.

One lakh masks have been distributed in the padayatra.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is not able to sleep with the response that the Congress is getting and he is trying to stop this at any cost, he said.

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News Network
January 10,2022

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Islamabad, Jan 10: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday alleged that minorities in India were being targeted by extremist groups and warned that such an agenda "is a real and present threat" to regional peace.

Khan took to Twitter to make the allegations in the wake of alleged inflammatory and provocative speeches against Muslims at an event in Haridwar in Uttarakhand held in December.

On his Twitter handle, Khan also questioned whether the BJP government supports the call for genocide of minorities in India, especially the 200 million Muslim community.

“It is high time international community took note & acted,” he further said.

In another tweet, Khan accused the BJP-led government of targeting minorities in India, adding that the extremist agenda “is a real and present threat to peace in our region.”

“The continuing silence of Modi govt on the call at an extremist Hindutva summit in Dec for genocide of minorities in India, especially the 200 mn Muslim community, begs the question whether the BJP govt supports this call. It is high time international community took note & acted(sic),” he tweeted.

Last month, Pakistan's Foreign Office summoned India’s Charge d’Affaires and conveyed its concern over the alleged hate speeches made at the Haridwar conclave.

Pakistan conveyed to the Indian side that the reported hate speeches were viewed with grave concern by the civil society and a cross-section of people in the country.

Held in Haridwar from December 17-20, the Dharma Sansad was organised by Yati Narasimhanand Giri of the Juna Akhada, who is already under police scanner for making hate speeches and inciting violence against Muslims.

At the event, several speakers allegedly made inflammatory and provocative speeches, calling for the killing of people from the minority community.

Two FIRs have been lodged against 15 people in the case, including Waseem Rizvi who changed his name to Jitendra Narayan Tyagi after converting to Hinduism recently and organiser of the Sansad Yati Narasimhanand, the head priest of Dasna temple in Ghaziabad.

A five-member Special Investigation Team has been constituted to look into the matter.

India's Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a Public interest litigation (PIL) seeking action against those who made hate speeches during the recent conclave.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana took note of the submissions of senior advocate Kapil Sibal that no action has been taken against those who made the hate speeches despite registration of FIR.

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coastaldigest.com news network
January 11,2022

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Mangaluru, Jan 11: Nearly two dozen people were hospitalized after a hazardous gas leakage from a factory at the Baikampady Industrial Area on the outskirts of the city today. 

The incident took place at Everest Seafoods company. It is learnt that ammonia, a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent smell, which dissolves in water to give a strongly alkaline solution, was liked from the company’s plant accidentally.
 
There were around 80 workers employed at the plant. Among them nearly two dozen people reported ill after the leakage. Hence they were taken to hospital.

Authorities concerned and police visited the spot and are investigating the matter.

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