Just two months ago Ahmedabad voted several new representatives yet when the city is passing through its worst crisis in the form of COVID it is the bureaucrats at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) who are running the show and not the corporators.
In fact, despite the city reporting shortage of beds, vaccines, oxygen, and others none of the recently elected representatives are seen doing much. If those in the know is to be believed, public representative including the first citizen- the mayor- is completely clueless about the COVID situation and does not even have complete information about what is being done.
It should be noted that even as bureaucrats implement strategies, elected representatives often remain in touch with them guiding them to several issues that may need their attention. But this participation of elected representatives seems to be missing in the second wave of COVID.
It seems the corporators only wanted to get elected and are happy for the bureaucrats to run the show. A lot of them have not been seen in public addressing the COVID concerns of citizens.
What is interesting is that the Rs8,051 crore of AMC budget that was recently approved didn’t even mention the word COVID, forget about allocation to fight the pandemic.
In the last budget, the civic body had spent Rs500 to Rs700 crore for COVID-related expenses yet the new budget did not make any allocation for the same. What is interesting is that the representatives did not even ask for one or question the lack of it.
As Ahmedabad battles COVID it is increasingly clear that the civic body and its representatives were caught unaware and did not have a plan in place.
What AMC corporators had to say
The sudden disappearance of corporators elected as people’s representatives is a shocker as citizens struggle to get beds and medicines and other healthcare help. The representatives have not taken the initiative to come forward and help the people.
It seems the AMC is run by the administrators and not the newly appointed representatives. Gujarat Exclusives tried to get in touch with Mayor Kirit Parmar for two days but he had not been available.
When Gujarat Exclusive asked deputy mayor Gita Patel if she was aware of the shortage of beds and Remdesivir injections in the city, she said she had some insight into the problem. She said corporators may or may not be aware of every happening and that they seek details as and when it is needed.
Hitesh Barot, Standing Committee Chairman directed the queries to the deputy municipal commissioner stating that he is the one in the know of the details. He said he and other leaders were addressing the issue of the long waiting period for the 108 ambulances and that they were making the rounds of hospitals to know the situation.
Barot said they were doing as much as possible to help the people.
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