Nagpur: It is the Zero Milestone of India. It is a historic city built by the Gonds, then by the Bhonsles and developed as a capital of CP and Berar by the British. It is almost a pre-historic city with burial sites and other anthropological finds dated back to 3000 years!
Going by contemporary count too, it is one of the oldest cities of India. And many will argue – the best.
First, the capital of Madhya Pradesh and since the formation of Maharashtra in 1960, it is the only city of India to get the status of “Second Capital” or Winter Capital of the State. Nagpur urban area has been governed by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation under an Act that was formed a decade earlier.
To quote from NMC’s official web site –
On January 22, 1950, CP & Berar Act No. 2 was published in the Madhya Pradesh Gazette which is known as the City of Nagpur Corporation Act, 1948 (CNC Act). The Municipal Corporation came into existence in March 1951. The first development plan of the city was prepared in 1953. In the year 1956, under the state reconstitution, the Berar Province merged into the Maharashtra State with Mumbai being recognized as its capital; in 1960, Nagpur was declared as the Second Capital of the state.
According to a survey conducted by a news agency (ABP), many years ago, Nagpur was identified as the best city in India by topping the liveability, greenery, public transport, and health care indices. Nagpur supposedly has the best literacy rate, 93.13%, among cities with more than 20 lakhs population in India.
We were curious – how accurate is this finding? What do people of Nagpur really think about the Civic Corporation and the body of Corporators who manage it?
NMC duties as per law
As per the CNC Act, 1948, the key responsibility for providing Nagpur’s citizens basic urban services lies with the Nagpur Municipal Corporation. NMC co-ordinates with various other government organizations like NIT, MHADA, MSRTC, the Traffic Police, MPCB, etc. for delivering these basic urban services.
Thus NMC acknowledges that basic services under its purview and directly its responsibility are:
- Water supply
- Waste management
- Slum improvement
- Best use of land including construction of roads
- Street lighting
- Maintenance of parks and gardens
- Providing primary health
- Providing Education facilities
For administrative purposes the city has been divided into 10 Zones called Aasi Nagar, Mangalwari, Dharampeth, Laxmi Nagar, Hanuman Nagar, Nehru Nagar, Lakadganj, Satranjipura, Gandhi Baugh and Dhantoli. (See map at http://www.mrsac.gov.in/sites/default/files/ward_map1.pdf)
One of the main issues is that of Waste Management which every metro city, the world over grapples with. How is NMC dealing with this? Why is Nagpur still a city where waste is not being segregated?
Not many are aware, but education of city children is also a mandate given to NMC. How good are their schools? Are they there at all, in the first place?
We, at Nagpur Today, the city’s first and only e-paper, committed to the cause of covering everything that happens here, calling it “the place you live in” decided to conduct a survey to find out from the people of the city, living in these ten zones , what is life like for them?
How good a job is NMC doing on all the above fronts?
Thus we conducted a survey sending our exclusive reporters to all these areas to talk to people.
The frame work of our survey
It is probably the largest survey of its kind where in minimum 50 persons were interviewed per zone, so our reporters spoke to 500 Nagpur citizens over a period of a week.
We provided them with a detailed questionnaire, which was completely objective type, with minimum scope for interviewer’s personal prejudices clouding the answers. Samples were randomly chosen but with a judicious mix of men, women and youth.
Each zone consists of many wards or ‘Prabhags’ – reporters covered as many of them as they could: concentrating equally on middle class neighborhoods, slums and commercial areas.
There were detailed questions on water supply, sanitation, funeral facilities, health, education, parks and sports facilities.
The last section was on how aware people are about which zone/ prabhag they live in and whether they know who their Corporator is and how active he/she is.
We will be posting results of our survey for each Prabhag serially.
Our readers are welcome to give their inputs on each of the above subjects.
Let us find out what the performance of NMC in fulfilling its mandate has been?