The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation has launched a novel initiative called MyCityMyBudget to work with citizens before preparation of the annual budget. The civic body has entered into a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Janaagraha, a not-for-profit organization, at Bengaluru on Wednesday for Urban Transportation.
The MoU was signed on Wednesday by GVMC Commissioner G Srijana and Janaagraha Centre For Citizenship and Democracy CEO Srikanth Viswanathan. The citizens feel that priority must be accorded in utilizing the budget for the construction of roads, waste management, water supply, stormwater drain, streetlights, footpaths, public toilets, parks and playgrounds, and air quality.
Addressing media persons, the GVMC Commissioner said each ward volunteer will visit at least 10 houses in his or her jurisdiction to get the requirements so as to include the people in the budget. The NGO with which MoU has been reached has already been implementing the MyCityMyBudget campaign successfully in Mangalore and Bengaluru since 2015.
It has completed the campaign for this year on January 25 and received 9,706 inputs from citizens across 198 wards with the collaborative effort from more than 40 Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) and NGOs, Srikanth Viswanadh said. He said Janaagraha will be working along with the GVMC to introduce a participatory budget process for citizens # MyCityMyBudget and other initiatives to strengthen Vizag’s finances.
The commissioner flagged off the #MyCityMyBudget campaign for receiving the budget inputs from the denizens as part of the first phase of the campaign. The commissioner said the ward volunteers will inform the GVMC about the citizens’ aspirations for the city and their neighborhood. She said for three days from Thursday, the citizens have been encouraged to give inputs either through the ward volunteers or online at https:// www.janaagraha.org/vizag.
Srikanth said Janaagraha is proud to be part of this pact with one of India’s fastest-growing cities, Visakhapatnam. Janaagraha will work with GVMC on three major aspects: Participatory budget for GVMC-Citizens will play a key role in making the city budget. They will also undertake a study on GVMC finances and work towards improving its financial health, he said and added that they will suggest ways to improve GVMC’s revenues using technical analysis and process improvements.
Head Civic Participation, JCCD, Srinivas Alavilli said that the citizens will become an integral part of the transformation that offers superior quality of life to every citizen in Vizag. There is a great start for improving the quality of life in Vizag and ensuring the citizens have a voice in the city’s development,” Sapna Karim of Janaagraha said.