Thursday, March 15, 2007

Campaign for demanding transparency and accountability in disbursement of Councillors Funds

Satark Nagrik Sangathan
B-76 (Garage), SFS Flats, Sheikh Sarai – 1, New Delhi-110017
Ph. No.: 9811558533, 26011362

Campaign for demanding transparency and accountability in disbursement of Councillors Funds
A Satark Nagrik Sangathan initiative in collaboration with other citizens and groups

Delhi is home to 134 MCD Councillors — local area representatives — who we vote into power and who are allocated around Rs 1 crore every year under the discretionary Councillor Funds Scheme to spend on the development needs of their respective wards. The total sum allocated to Councillors in Delhi under this scheme was approximately Rs 550 crores over the period 2002-2007.

Isn’t it strange that even though WE vote for Councillors and it is OUR money, we have no idea about where is it being spent?

Currently, there are no means of accessing this crucial information. The information is not made available to citizens by the MCD or its Councillors through any website, publication, or other means.

Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS), a Delhi-based citizens’ vigilance group, has launched a campaign using the RTI to access information about how these Municipal Councillors are utilizing public funds — our funds.

Details of all works undertaken using the Councillor Funds during 2002-2007 (i.e. for all 134 wards, for the last five years) were sought. The information was not easy to obtain - it took several months and numerous appeals to procure. Moreover, the records provided were in very technical language and needed to be demystified.

The three most crucial issues that have gotten highlighted as a result of this exercise are:
The data obtained reveals that in many wards there is a huge gap between the needs of the citizens and the expenditure pattern of the councillors. Often money has been spent on low priority works such as building animal figures or constructing fountains in parks when people do not have access to drinking water and basic sanitation.
There are no mechanisms in place for citizen participation whereby councillors ask citizens what their development needs are, and
Most alarmingly, there are no guidelines at present that govern how the councillors should disburse these funds allocated to them.

This campaign for demanding transparency and accountability in disbursement of Councillors Funds, launched by SNS, seeks to:

Disseminate the information obtained by SNS about how Councillors allocated the Councillors Funds at their disposal in the past five years by working closely with the print and electronic media and organizing public meetings and information dissemination camps across the city.

Along with interested citizens and NGOs, demand that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi provide this information proactively to people in formats that are easily understood by common people.

Evolve and draft proper guidelines on how Councillors Funds should be spent (there are no guidelines in existence at the moment) and pressurize the government to adopt appropriate guidelines.

To participate in the campaign and for more information on the campaign, contact: or call – 9810273984 / 9811420295


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