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Indian Real Estate News : Meerut
How to boost the value of your property
Source: The Times of India May 30, 2014
A cleaner and healthier environment has a direct impact on property values. This is something that Magicbricks' data analysis has consistently thrown up. Localities have witnessed as much as 20 per cent hike in values due to their healthier and greener environments.

So how do I ensure cleaner environment around me?

The magic word is 'an active Ward Committee'.

What is that and how do I get involved and make it work?

Because of a wide range of municipal functions and powers, and many interest groups ‘Ward Committees’ were formed in Bangalore. The aim is to give more power and say to the citizens of the city.

With the implementation of new Ward Committee Rules drafted by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), for example, residents can now question and coordinate ward committees on litter or garbage in their ward. They can even move the court if the complaints to the corporator do not solve the problem.

Section 4(i) of the draft Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Ward Committee) Rules 2013 says that citizens can approach ward committees in case of littering or uncleared garbage. Thereby, decentralising several functions.

Earlier in 2014 Ward Committee Rules were finalised. It is now only a matter of time Ward Committees become functional and act in response to the needs of the people.

What do the new rules say

Broadly, it says these statutory Committees have to constantly involve local people in overseeing many aspects of civic administration and governance. The Ward Committee is also empowered to oversee important civic functions such as:

- Solid waste management
- Road safety
- Protection and conservation of lakes
- Greening neighbourhoods
- Slum upgradation
- Overall environmental management
- Upkeep of public properties

Protecting and managing parks and playgrounds

Ward Committees are required to develop 'a 5 year Ward Vision Plan' and also develop budget to support the activities, based on consultation with local residents.

And there is more help at hand. Environment Support Group (ESG), an NGO that has, for many years, campaigned to establish local government or ‘Nagar Palike,’ organises workshops and discussions on how to get the maximum advantage even with the existing rules and responsibilities.

Leo Saldanha, co-ordinator and trustee of ESG, said: “WC is here to stay, now the government can’t escape. It is the right time to decentralise government and increase accessibility.”

A few recommendations suggested by the group to make Ward Committee more effective include:

- Information about the meeting should be on local papers so that people are aware. Meeting details should receive inputs from public.

- Officers concerned should be mandatorily present in the meeting.

- Member secretary should be a top official of the concerned issue to be discussed and ensure that decision making is done at the meeting with no pending issues.

- Clearly regulated powers to ensure clear understanding of roles and functions of each member and the committee

- Public spirited individuals and/NGOs as special invitees to be involved to make it more transparent and participatory.
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