Call to stream council meetings live

TNN | Aug 10, 2014, 02.08AM IST

KOCHI: City residents appear a disappointed lot when it comes to the conduct of the corporation’s council meetings. Many of them believe that the local body often ignores debates on crucial issues and hence citizens’ forums have come up with a demand to provide live telecast of the meetings as part of the efforts to strengthen local bodies.The Ernakulam District Residents’ Association Apex Council (EDRAAC) described council meetings as eyewash. “Serious issues related to people’s welfare and development are ignored. Opposition councillors are keen on taking up controversial issues, staging protests and walkouts thus providing a perfect opportunity for the ruling front to get their agendas approved. Even the proceedings of Lok Sabha are telecast live, so why can’t we emulate it and make the councillors and the corporation more accountable? It will expose inefficient councillors,” said Rangadasa Prabhu.Kochi population of 6,01,574 is represented by 74 councillors. “Except for newspaper reports, people are clueless on what happens there. It will provide a better understanding on different aspects of various projects proposed by the corporation. People will also get to know how each councillor presents issues and also the response provided by the mayor and team,” said Residents Association Apex Council, Ernakulam (RAACE) general secretary, K G Panicker.

Hinting at the need to bring in more transparency, Kochi-based think tank Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) said that live streaming option would expose dubious practices.“It would become difficult for councillors to approve an agenda without a debate since issues will be viewed by the public. This will give both experts and laymen an opportunity to voice their views on development projects. The process would eliminate any unilateral decision. Eventually, it would strengthen the democratic process and ensure the participation of efficient and capable people in the decision making process,” said CPPR chairman D Dhanuraj.
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