Admitting that there were several complaints about the functioning of the Mapusa civic body, local MLA Joshua D’Souza informed that the municipality will get a new Chief Officer after August 15.
D’Souza also hinted that the Mapusa Municipal Council (MMC) may also see a change in guard with a new chairperson and vice-chairperson taking over sooner rather than later.
“Getting MMC up to the status it had in the past is very important. There are a lot of complaints. A lot of administrative issues have also cropped up. There are a lot of businesses that are operating without trade licences. There are recruitment issues as some posts have lapsed and therefore need to be revived. We need to streamline and ensure that all these things fall in order and the municipality functions properly,” D’Souza said.
The Mapusa MLA was responding to queries over the deterioration of civic-related services and the breakdown of the administrative functioning of the civic body.
Continuing, D’Souza informed that the current Chief Officer Sitaram Sawal was a novice with no legal background and lacked the experience to run the affairs of a big municipality like Mapusa.
“Mapusa is a big constituency with a lot of commercial activity. We have requested the government to send someone who has the experience to the Chief Officer’s (CO) post. The current CO is a new officer. We don’t blame him. But Mapusa needs an experienced officer at that post,” he said and added, “We expect a new CO after August 15.”
He further informed that the current Accounts Taxation Officer (ATO) has been promoted and a request has also been made to appoint a full-time Administrative Officer (AO) in the civic body.
“The technical section of the MMC has only four Junior Engineers (JEs) which is not enough for the civic body with 20 wards. We have requested to increase the sanction strength of JEs in the council,” he said.
He also informed that a request has been made for two new market inspectors to ensure that the market is operating properly.
The Mapusa MLA informed that in the civic elections held a little over a year back, the BJP-backed panel had got nine councillors and later some Independents joined the group to form the council.
“At that time some assurances were made that after one year there will be changes in the council. So far no such discussions have taken place but we are seized of the matter,” he said.
A couple of days ago, a Congress-backed councillor Nutan Bicholkar joined the BJP indicating that changes in the council hierarchy were on the cards.b