Citizen seeks appointment of administrator at AMC

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An Aurangabad resident on Thursday approached the Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court seeking appointment of an administrator at the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) as the civic body has “consistently violated the fundamental rights of the citizens”.
The petitioner, Amol Gangawane, who approached the high court through lawyer Devdutta Palodkar, pointed out that at least 48 petitions relating to roads, water, and other civic amenities have been pending in the high court. These pending petitions implied that that the civic body had failed to fulfil its duty to provide basic amenities to residents and that citizens can get relief only after court’s intervention.

Following the petition, the high court bench comprising Justice S S Shinde and Justice S M Gavhane ordered issuance of notices to the Union government, the urban development department, Aurangabad Municipal Corporation as well the mayor and the municipal commissioner and placed the next date of hearing on April 3. The court also directed that out of 48 petitions, at least 25 were public interest litigations.

The petitioner sought directions to the respondents to “frame appropriate scheme for improving administration of Aurangabad Municipal Corporation to protect the fundamental / statutory rights of the residents of the city and to direct the government to appoint a nodal officer/administrator for enforcement of the fundamental rights / statutory rights of the residents of Aurangabad.

The petitioner, while listing importance of the city as a historical place and an educational and industrial hub also pointed out failures of the civic body on different fronts. It said that the situation had remained the same for several decades and caused serious damage to the reputation of the city, recognised as the fastest growing in Asia.

 The petition argued that “Consistently, the rights of the residents are being violated.’’ It said, “under such circumstances, the present petition is being filed for the purpose of protecting the fundamental, constitutional as well as statutory rights of the residents of the city.’’

The petition has sought “directions for enforcement of the fundamental/ constitutional rights guaranteed by the Constitution as well as enforcement of the statutory duties imposed on the municipal corporation by virtue of the Constitution of India and Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act.’’

The petitioner has listed a number of failures on the part of the civic body, including irregular and faulty water supply system, bad roads for which several people have approached the court seeking directions, street lighting and faulty drainage system, which have not been rectified yet despite the civic body pumping in huge funds and failure of tax collection system. The petition also referred to the ongoing garbage crisis which the civic body has failed to solve and that the high court had to intervene and issue directions to the government and the civic body.

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