Come April 17th, people of Bengaluru city along with other districts across the state will be exercising their right to elect their political representatives to represent them in the temple of largest democracy - Parliament.
It is a custom that political parties on the eve of elections, releases their manifesto, promising from clean street to stars and moon. In past promises just remained in the manifesto documents and no body neither themseleves or the people who elect them ever bothered to demand answers on their fulfillment. Therefore they remained as the customary ritual rather than any a sincere ray of hope for any betterment of lives.
Since the general elections of 2009, things have taken a turn and have become challenging for everybody - To voters, to candidates, to parties and to aspirations of 1.2 billion. The ordinary souls who get their turn in once in 5 years, are now increasingly demanding the accountability from the politicians who promised moon in last elections. The 2014 election could be turning point in Indian history, whether for bad or good would only time will tell.
Since these are times of change, let their be a change. Instead of political parties drafting their election manifestos, let we the voters, we the citizens write the election manifestos. Here is my election manifesto for my home city - Bengaluru.
- Transparency and Accountability in all departments and Sections of government - Demand for working RTI regime wherein the real objective of RTI act is implemented in spirit and law. All ministries, department should be held accountable for efforts to stall sharing of legitimate information from citizens. Demand for a working state CIC that is working for citizen's rights than working for shielding govt officers who sit on RTI applications and deny information to the applicant.
- Reforms at BBMP - Demand reforms at BBMP for ensuring regime of experienced hands heading the various cells for quality of works and services. Demand public consultation for all new infrastructure plans.
- Meaningful Plan and Regulatory Bodies for City Infrastructure - Time for dismantling the bodies like BDA, KPSC which have become centers of corruption and are responsible for haphazard and unscientific infrastructure in the city. Instead demand for meaningful planning and regulatory bodies that promotes scientific planning for the city infrastructure and regulates the development activities.
- Statutory body responsible for urban transport infrastructure - Time for elevating bodies like DULT/BMLTA to take up the role of comprehensive planning and implementation agency for instituting sustainable transport infrastructure in the city. These bodies should take up the new infrastructure only after the consensus of all the stakeholders specially the ordinary citizens.
- Policies and Programs for promoting safe pedestrian infrastructure in the city - Demand pedestrian infrastructure like safe footpaths, PED Crossings at all traffic junctions etc.
- Priority for Public Transport Vehicles on all roads - Demand for laws giving priority for Public Transport vehicles on all roads to enable them to maintain their schedule and on time arrival/departure.
- Priority completion of Mass Transit System with complete multi modal integration - Demand for speedy implementation and completion of all the proposed projects of METRO System, Bengaluru Suburban Rail Service and reforms at BMTC for better efficiency and connectivity. Plans must for Mass Transit system to cover 60-70% of the demand.
- Promotion of Non-Motorized Transport in the city - Demand supporting infrastructure for promoting NMT in the city. Programs for encouraging the citizens to adopt NMT for essential and non-Essential commute in the city.
- Urgent reforms in Education Department - Demand a complete re-haul of education system that is accessible to each and every residents at affordable cost. Time for reforms to get the govt run school to be on par with any other private or semi-private institution.
- Re-haul of Health Care System in the city - Time for instituting programs and directions to change the health care system that is affordable to poorest of poor and sustainable too. Explore Public-Private partnership models for expanding the health care access in the city.
- Preservation of water bodies and environment - Enforcement of laws to preserve the water bodies that supports life and sustenance.
- Promotion for Renewable Energy Generation - Demand support for establishment of renewable energy generation plants.
- Police Reforms - Demand urgent reforms in police department brining in professionalism and accountability.
Did I miss anything?