Residents unwilling to participate in ward panels?

Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporations launched drive to enroll residents in ward committees . The HDMC launched drive to involve citizens in administration .

Hubballi: Despite the cries and complaints of several civil society groups in the twin cities about the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards constituting ward committees, the response from residents to Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporations' invitation for proposals to become members of these committees has been unnerving.Three months ago, the HDMC launched a drive to enroll residents in ward committees in order to involve citizens in administration, and the response from the public to the civic bodies initiative in 12 districts has been disconcertingly poor in some of those zones.Before a ward committee can be formed, 11 members are selected, including the corporator and the de facto chairperson of the committee, while the remaining members are selected based on criteria to ensure equal representation of the entire cross-section of society, one member of the Scheduled Castes group, one from Scheduled Tribes, and three women, among other things.The deadline for submitting applications for membership in ward committees has been extended to June 17, the third time the deadline has been extended in as many months, but no one has expressed interest.

The HDMC has received 159 applications in zone three, which comprises four wards, for the most part.Zone 9, in which only 17 residents have applied for a seat on the ward panels, has seen a low response from the community, according to HDMC commissioner B Gopalkrishna, who has criticized the civic body's multi-pronged campaign.We tried to persuade people to join the ward committees by reaching out to them on social media, attending lectures, and even practicing on the ground.However, Gopalkrishna told AP that there haven't been enough applicants to form committees in certain wards.

We will initiate the process of constituting committees in those wards where we have received enough applications, he said.Gopalkrishna said that the corporators would be encouraged to involve their constituents actively in local government, particularly in those wards where response to the initiative has been poor.