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Long pending Civic Elections

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The way the BWSSB, in the absence of BBMP elected mayor and his team, is going ahead with its job of planning and maintaining the city infrastructure is not acceptable. Reference is made to the earlier two threads on the subject on SWD. 

Early bird offer - SWD Cleaning

Storm Water Drain (SWD) Muck / Mud Traps

I give below a latest example of bungling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This example being referred to is right in the neighborhood of BWSSB office at Indiranagar II stage, Bangalore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SWD (the smallest size) has been fully covered by mud dumping by unknown people right in the neighborhood of the Government authority. The apathy of us citizens including the officials working at the office (having voter ID cards) is appalling. 

 

The main civic problems of the city fall into 

  1. Garbage disposal
  2. Sewage and sanitation
  3. Water
  4. Electricity
  5. Roads
  6. Town Planning 

The mayor is the person on whose vision the upkeep of the above technologies is dependent upon. It is high time that the Civic elections do happen.

Comments

RKCHARI's picture

Elected Rep

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PSA Saar,

Since the system so warrants, I think the crux of major decisions being taken by an elected Representative lies in the fact that we the citizens of each Ward within BBMP, must slect the most educated and articulate Corporator. Then only will there be a Mayor with vision. If we have the guy with the most criminal record or who is a chauvanist of one kind or the other with his own agenda of making money represent us, we will probably end up having an even more pathetic situation.

Without an elected body of corrupt Corporators at least for now we have an IAS Officer taking some educated decision or the other - for better or for worse. Unless we can have someone like Dr. A. Ravindra become our Mayor, I personally think we are better off without one more layer of corrupt body to contend with.

I couple of years ago I remember being horrified to read that the Lady Mayor elect was some kind of a mafia don with several murders to her credit!

Why cannot each ward have a community session on one particular day with everyone living in that ward getting together to elect the most competent person - as used to be the case in old Roman Forums? For a start why cannot we insist on each and every Corporator being at least a Graduate, having actually gone to a college (without obtaining his/her Degree by fraud means - you will be suprised, there normally are several Corporators with false Degree certificates!!) and profficient in at least two languages - Kannadiga and English? That way Non-Kannadigas living in cosmopolitan Bengaluru will be at least able to feel that their voices too can be heard by their Corporator.

Frankly speaking, I think each one of the 1000 odd Praja Members should stand for elections and be elected as Corporators! At least we will be articulate and not have any axes to grind!!

Regards,

Chari

RKC

silkboard's picture

Mixing things - how will local elections fix it?

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PSA Sir,

Short post with pertinent observation, but there are more things to understand here.

Accountability?

  • How will elected BBMP have any bearing on functioning of BWSSB? At the first level, who exactly is BWSSB answerable to? Elected BBMP (and thus city's residents), or state government first? Or both?

Of the work items that you have listed, let me try add the responsible bodies

  1. Garbage disposal: Solid waste - BBMP. Okay, BBMP
  2. Sewage and sanitation: BWSSB. not BBMP
  3. Water: BWSSB, not BBMP
  4. Electricity: BESCOM buys and distributes. Not BBMP
  5. Roads: BDA, KRDCL as well as BBMP. Not BBMP alone
  6. Town Planning: Not sure, but most likely, this too is not BBMP alone

Now, on top of this - you have state ministries, who focus a lot more on the city than the whole state. On top of it, you have ministers in-charge of North and South Bangalore?

How exactly will local elections for BBMP fix the city on things you listed?

Civic society should focus on the core matter - and that is done by participating in debates around Karnataka Regional Governance Act, and asking questions like why is it that decentralization of power is thought of as a rural issue (via a separate ministry for panchayati raj).

Let us stop positioning BBMP elections as some sort of magic cure-all. I think we need to spread some awareness around unrealistic expectations from BBMP elections.

psaram42's picture

The Title was perhaps misleading.

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 It was originally “Up-dating Civic Infrastructure Technologies of the city of Bangalore”. It is a shear waste of money by the way the storm water drains are maintained at present. What about the encroachment of big SWD? How is this kind of day light robberies tolerated? Is it a way to get votes or notes? The present SWD technology needs to be updated. It is high time that it is done. There are two faces of this coin. 

  1. The need of doing a good job (Sure about this)
  2. How to achieve the goal
    1. Only crying baby gets the milk
    2. If the authorities don’t respond persuade them harder
    3. Private enterprice 

(My reason of thinking of the defunct Civic bodies was the Mahatmas dream.) I tend to agree with Mr. Chari’s comment above. Forget about city fathers!  Get things done without them. I never intended to or want to Position BBMP elections as a plank to achieve the intended goal. 

I am planning an event to meet some Architects of the city.

RKCHARI's picture

Why Private Enterprise Is The Last Resort?

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Friends,

I admit, my response to PSA Garu's comments may not be directly relevant, but I cannot resist the temptation to highlight one point about Private Enterprise as being the choice of last resort in solving civic problems.

It is almost second nature particularly for Indians to believe that Private Enterprise means unscrupulous profiteers in the name of something being done efficiently. I beg to defer.

Private Enterprise too consist of Indians like JRD Tata & GD Birla. They were pioneers in treading on paths that even Government was unwilling to tread. Gandhiji too depended on money for the freedom struggle as well as sane economic advice from these gentlemen.

My point is that educated Indians should seriously introspect and consider whether making profits by selling technology and efficiency is really a necessary evil or something that needs to be seen in the right perspective? Why presume every entrepreneur is making obsence profits?

When Private Enterprise can solve a civic problem in one fell sweep with little or no heartburns (except for the self righteous NGO types or vested interest which is directly affected by the decision) why must people's groups presume that they must be on the "other side of the table" lest the private entrepreneur "takes them for a right Royal ride"?

Profiteering by hook or crook is not necessarily so by Private Enterprises. When providing state of the art solutions for a common and festering civic problem like flooding due to open / impervious SW Drains, the Private Entrepreneur is also concerned about the right kind of impression  his Company will garner if his motive were simply to fleece the authorities by providing some slip shod solution.

Costly solution is also extremely relative in terms. There is a proper method to calculate "cost benefit analysis" which an MBA student learns almost immediately on joining a Degree Course. Why cant bureaucrats apply this basic tenet to determine whether a solution is costly or not in the context of a long term perspective? Too lazy to quantify the benefits or vested interest in old methods being too influential?

Just my two penny worth

Regards

RKC

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