Monitoring Municipal Services Through Report Card Survey in Bhopal
To deepen the engagement with the citizens as well as the municipality, citizen report card is being prepared in the three of the intervened towns. The questionnaire has been designed and the data collection has been initiated. A sample of about 900 citizens living in different wards/ locality representing varying income categories has been collected. The report will be taken up with the municipal bodies and the residents to take up joint corrective actions to improve the situation.
Municipal Finance Study
Status of Municipal Finance was examined using the data from five municipalities namely- Sidhi, Sehore, Ajaygarh, Mandsaur and Icchawar. Three of the towns are Nagar Palika while Ajaygarh and Icchawar are Nagar Panchayat. Financial heads were analyzed on the basis of the data of the last 5 years. Main trends that were visible were excessive dependence on the grants, poor tax collection especially the property tax (nearly 5 to 7 percent of the total tax revenue), very high (48% to 55%), establishment cost and a very high revenue expenditure on supply of water.
Formation of Citizens’ forum on Urban Governance
The poor quality roads, scarcity of drinking water, poor sanitary conditions in wards and neighborhoods, polluted water bodies, non functioning schools and irrelevant public distribution systems for the poor and needy are common but chronic problems that have plagued our cities for many decades. The situation of public services worsen, if we move from larger cities to smaller towns. The quality of urban governance, irrespective of the size of the town, has remained a neglected area from the citizen’s as well as Government’s point of view.
Citizen engagement with local bodies to facilitate better governance has been the continued focus of our intervention in the last one year. Citizen collectives were formed to address local problems in a formal and collective manner.