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BBMP Project Management System - meeting report

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Governance

The meeting started a bit late. The dignitaries were invited one by one to the dais by Kathyayini Chamaraj, Executive Trustee, CIVIC. Mr. R. Sri Kumar, IPS, Vigilance Commissioner, Central Vigilance Commission was the First. He was followed by the deputy of the actual Chief Guest - Mr. Siddaiah, IAS, Commissioner, BBMP. The others were Mr. Raja Sivan & Mr. J. K. Rao, Founder Trustees; Indian Centre for Social Transformation (Indian CST) who made the presentation of Web-Based Global Project Management System (GPMS) of BBMP.

Kathyayini Chamaraj briefly introduced the chairman by saying he was a BTech, Mtech and a National Law school Graduate by qualification. His record of positions held included that of DGP in Karnataka state police. He was a recipient of IPS Police medal  too for meritorious service. Currently he is the vigilance commissioner. He is closely associated with the project management of police Housing Corporation since 2009.

Mr. Srikumar expressed his happiness over prospect of transparency through internet of the BBMP functioning. He also expressed that the money spent by BBMP over the implementation of the software on its existing official BBMP site will be well spent if utilized properly by the citizens of Bangalore. BBMP has 33000 projects. The citizens of Bangalore are one of the crucial stake holders of these projects. The general public has to decide to day how they are going to participate in the well being of the megacity Bangalore.

Raja Srinivasan proceeded to briefly explain how the present tool added to the existing site proposes to be ready for being monitored by all the stake holders including the citizens of the city. I had the feeling that the way the presentation was made by Mr. Raja was not appropriate for the occasion. Probably Mr. Sheshadri the IT consultant could have presented the software better. The emphasis was more on uploading of pictures rather than the

  1. tendering process,
  2. Fund allocations made,
  3. cost over runs
  4. Project time over runs etc.

This was evident on the way much time was spent on complaint registration and monitoring complaints.

On the whole it is a great effort by BBMP for including the concept of ‘monitoring’ of each project by all the stake holders. Now the ball is in court of the stake holders to see that the fine tool is not high jacked. 

Comments

psaram42's picture

Some pictures of the meet

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Picture 1 The vigilance Commissioner on Dias

 

idontspam's picture

The emphasis was more on

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The emphasis was more on uploading of pictures

Should introduce them to flickr :)

psaram42's picture

A good comment but

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Satya comments are cryptic aren’t they? WOW. But Satya Sahib it is not

                                              them but us users

who have to be experts in flicker. I am still a novice in uploading. Hence it is painful for me to upload pictures to Praja site.

That is the reason why I felt that somebody other than BBMP person should have made the presentation that he made. It would have been wonderful if CIVIC chief Kathyaini Chamraj had made the presentation from the users, public side.

My personal opinion is that this is a welcome move by BBMP to have installed this facility as added to their website itself. It is up to the Bangalore citizens to demand what ever they expect from this utility software

                                       to bring absolute transparency

in BBMP operations. Especially financial audit operation needs to be addressed to. We should demand and see that BBMP get their accounts audits audited by professional auditors every year starting 2011-2012. These should be uploaded too. If that does not happen it is our mistake to take it lieing low.

idontspam's picture

It is up to the Bangalore

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It is up to the Bangalore citizens to demand what ever they expect from this utility software

Correct but this should be done before, not after, paying money & building the software. Anyways the point is if the data in the system was better people will overlook the lack of functionality. But on your other thread I have pointed out some glaring issues with the data as well. Why roll out something when you havnt made it production quality? Nobody rolls out a test system for citizensto use.

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

Negative

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I am negative on this. No software is useful without a working "humanware". I know ,all got message. May be its an added burden on really working people, I mean contractors. I am sure no BBMP staff will do the job of uploading pictures. I have seen instances BBMP staff (call center) reluctant to even add few words to a text field !

If BBMP wants IT enable, there are hell lot of solutions available like Google Apps, Google Docs, Picasa, Flick , Twitpics you name it. I know Google apps can do wonders and requires little training for staff or public. I am not Google working for Google :-] )

Come on, why does BBMP need such system, we are at Web 2.0 age !!!

 

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
silkboard's picture

citizens need raw data, no fancy system

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BBMP's internal use in managing and tracking their projects is one thing. And sharing with citizens another. Naturally, as a praja, my interest is on the citizen side of system. There, the best thing to do is to just release raw data on projects. 100s of people will build meaningful websites with such information, saving BBMP and contractor the effort of building citizen facing UIs etc.

For starters, BBMP could have

  • RSS feed showing "all departments" in a tree/map structure, with all department codes, and current officers
  • RSS feed on "all projects", using department codes from above, and providing codes for each project
  • RSS feed of all "project updates", think of each project-update as "comment" on the "project".
  • more fun? RSS feed on "project updates" can have different types of updates, ex: money spent, progress recorded, picture taken, audit done etc.

Think on above lines, and save money plus help us build whatever systems and views we want to build to track and monitor you.

srinidhi's picture

where is the site?

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Is there a URL which we can use to get to the info?

psaram42's picture

Nobody rolls out a test system for citizens to use.

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@IDS

Yes, but elected reps sitting in government do. What can you do to prevent this? Precious little I think. The NGO like CIVIC also has failed miserably to spot the anomaly and blindly promote the undeserving product. The needle of suspicion points at them too to promote such activity!

psaram42's picture

The site is the BBMP site itself

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@shrinidhi

The functionality is extended to include the additional functionality of project monitoring capability. Kindly search the site. I am yet try it out.

Shashidhar's picture

BBMP's web based global project management system awareness

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BBMP have made a good start in sharing information and they desrve to be commended.We as citizens need to understand their constraints and support them with our suggestions based on our individual experiences.

The BBMP team that participated in answering questions were patient and took pains in answering most of the issues raised by the audience.

I have yet to register to this system and use the site and can comment on this later.

 

silkboard's picture

No more please

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Dear shashidhar,

no more on this line please

We as citizens need to understand their constraints

If you can, then could you explain to me as to how a  body short on funds doesn't hesitate at all to announce road projects worth 100s of crores, but is not willing to spend serious money on systems to manage and share information. Tells you that building "soft" infrastructure (sharing info with citizens) isn't priority for them. I would even suspect that this exercise is being done for some sort of compliance to get funds.

But yes, in the spirit of something is better than nothing, we should appreciate this "start". If they want to make this really really usful for citizens, I am in sir, to help design and provide citizen side requirements. Hint - opendata is the way.

Also, in case you are connected with the project, would you know why to this date BBMP (and other depts too) don't put out more information about tenders on eproc website? Will it hurt to put out the details of winner for the tender, final contract amount, contractor details, and all the contract documents submitted by them. Let's start with basic information like this about projects. daily and live updates can wait.

Ravi_D's picture

Re: No More Please

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@SB: +1. No make it +1000. Or +whatever.

Enough of this excuse. I looked up details of at least 10 projects on the system for Rajarajeswari Nagar ward. Couldn't even find one with complete info. How can this be out 'released'? 

Certainly appreciate the intent and the efforts someone has already put in. And the constraints there might be within the system to keep the data close to their chest. But it is never too late to realize it is just not enough. 

srinidhi's picture

WO dates missing..

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This is some start though..went thru the links and it kinda gives some hope..

Main things missing is dates, when the WO have been released..now we have to dig into each of the items to see the dates..this should be a column on the main listing..

Also, filters is something that can be useful.

http://www.vigeyegpms.in/BBMP/?module=public&action=projectinfo&wardid=103

for example for things like 'toilet improvement' , they have spend 2 L..there is no indication of what the scope of the work is..nor are there any picutres of pre and post works..

silkboard's picture

share your contraints sir

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To those (BBMP, or any other deptt) who want citizens to understand their constraints, simple advise is to share the contraints first. Like in this case, is BBMP low on budget for IT systems? Let us know, so that we can raise the pitch to get more money allocated. Is BBMP short on advisory help to build citizen facing systems? Share feature document or requirements for review in advance.

Empathy is a two way street.

murali772's picture

credibility at stake

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He also expressed that the money spent by BBMP over the implementation of the software on its existing official BBMP site will be well spent if utilized properly by the citizens of Bangalore.

After going through the profiles of the agencies involved, I had expressed my doubts about their capacities to do justice to the tasks on hand (check this). And, from a reading of the postings made by the 'techies' here, after checking out the site, I can see that my fears were not unfounded. And, for all his credentials, if Mr Sri Kumar still chose to bat for them using his connections, in preference to far more capable and involved local agencies/ groups, including PRAJA (of whom he's well aware), and then goes on to putting the burden of proper utilisation on the citizens, I am afraid, it doesn't say much for him.

Coming to Sri Anantram's comment - "The NGO like CIVIC also has failed miserably to spot the anomaly and blindly promote the undeserving product. The needle of suspicion points at them too to promote such activity!" (check this). Well, I wouldn't like to be so harsh. But, they too perhaps need to undertake a bit of due diligence before the championing of such programmes, just because a supposedly honest officer has lent his support to it. Honesty is one thing - capacity is another.

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

Self Explanatory

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psaram42's picture

Slip shod work, far from satisfactory

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There are glaring mistakes in entries made, as pointed out by IDS above. There should have been an active user volunteer interaction at the software development stage. All the NGOs in Bangalore should have been involved in the software evolution. This would have been possible if BBMP had taken the citizens in confidence, much before the release of the software. 

Kathyayini Chamaraj's picture

Regarding 'Credibility at stake'

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Dear Mr. Murali,
 
I have taken note of the comments on praja.in about CIVIC's programme on 18th June on BBMP's Web-Based Global Project Management System (WBGPMS).  If so much debate has been generated about the programme, then I think the programme has served its purpose.  It was our intention to bring this technology to the attention of the public and make them explore and use it.  If citizens have discovered mistakes in the data entry, then that is exactly what we wanted citizens to do. BBMP engineers are to be blamed for the wrong or incomplete data entry and the software is not to be blamed for it.  As Mr. Sri Kumar pointed out during the event, such mistakes or incomplete entries should be brought to the notice of BBMP by uploading your comments on to the project site.  Unless citizens perform this social auditing role, the software and technology will not be of any use.  I hope every member of praja.in will become a watch-dog for his particular ward and use the WBGPMS to bring about total transparency and accountability in BBMP.
 
I'm sure Mr. Raja Seevan would have answered the more technical questions raised, which I am not qualified to answer.  Also, let me assure members of praja.in that CIVIC had no vested interest in organising the programme.  The WBGPMS was on the website of BBMP for over two years, I believe, but no one was aware of it. Our only interest was to make citizens aware that this tool exists and to promote its usage.  I hope you will post this response on praja.in.

With best regards,


Kathyayini Chamaraj
Executive Trustee
97318 17177
 
CIVIC Bangalore
#6 Kasturi Apts.
35/23 Langford Road Cross
Shanthinagar
Bangalore 560025
Tel:  080-22110584
Telefax: 080-41144126
info@civicspace.in
www.civicspace.in
 

silkboard's picture

Thanks for your note Kathyayani

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Thank you for posting a response Kathyayani. Myself and many others appreciate the initiative shown by people like you, and also the support provided by BBMP. However, when well intended efforts don't provide the expected benefits, frustration is natural.

I think most people trust your statement that CIVIC has no vested interests and motives in supporting this, and we look forward to helping organization like yours to increase the levels of transparency in functioning of city government agencies.

Do realize please that there are two very different things in the mix here:

  1. Design aspect of system. Many suggest an open-data like approach, where data feeds are shared in RAW, and citizens are given the power to visualize the way they like
  2. Quality of data in the system, pointed out by IDS and others above.

The system at present is not there on either of the two criteria above. Criticism on both aspects would need to be treated separately (#1 - technical, pass to vendor, #2 - data, for BBMP alone)

regards,

SB aka Pranav

idontspam's picture

mail exchanges

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Posting the exchange which is happening on emails.(Sorry, too many div tags from the copy/paste to clean up)

 
Dear Raja , thanks for the reply we have been more critical about the implementation & data more than the product itself. However I would really think it will help to understand what is possible for citizens outside the software itself ie does it allow for citizens to pull out data & visualize it themselves? Does it provide an RSS/XML feed if required? Basically how closed & tied in the data is to this software. Some basic questions that arise about the entire system are
(1). Is this going to be the primary system of record for BBMP or in addition to current tools that are already being used? If it is an addition what are the garuntees that this data will be timely & accurate? 
(2). If BBMP is responsible for data entry how is it being done? are they rolling out ward by ward with a plan or dumping all inaccurate data without remapping the new ward data with the old?
(3). There are lot of data errors some of us have pointed out. Who is walking them thru the process of uploading & what is the system of verification of the uploaded data? 
(4). Almost all data is only the personnel name & total value without any dates, designs, DPR's etc it doesnt show when the last update date was or any other audit data. I dont think the software should allow them to put incomplete data & make basic details like dates & designs & who it is pending with etc as mandatory.
(5). If this system has been around for 2 years as mentioned & this is the quality of data then I seriously doubt this system has been in use at all!!! 
 
And I am not even sure which part of this problem is really attributable to you since we dont know how far you are handholding BBMP.

-----------------------

Thank you for your response, Sir. I am marking copies of this mail to the "techies" in this group, some of whom I am sure will respond to you. 
Regards, Muralidhar Rao, 98450 75543

On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 1:25 PM, Raja Seevan wrote:
Dear Mr.Murali,

We have seen your comment online and in this regard we would like know when it will be convenient for you to visit Indian CST office so that we can update you with all the information and answer all your queries. Please note we have not enabled Citizen registration on the Indian CST portal. 

Now Citizens can make their comments by just entering their minimum details on the BBMP portal next to the project id you can click on the icon comments and make your comments or feedback so that it is available onsite so that the respective connected engineer can act on this or the same will be escalated to his next reporting officer and so on. This portal enables public to register complaints, view projects of their interest and update delays or inconvenience caused.

Our Global Project Management System (GPMS) is a valuable technology tool that helps increase the capability to manage project complexity. It simplifies the task of monitoring the project work done at multiple locations using our unique mobile-phone based technology process “Remote Eye Monitoring System”. It provides a powerful monitoring mechanism using instant sharing of project-relevant data/information flow on real time basis supported by evidence that is difficult to refute. In this process a data or information (in whatever format) at source from any location is first captured on mobile, then geo-tagged, timed, and encrypted before the same is uploaded on a secure Web portal enabling its quick access from anywhere by any authorized person.  

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP)
  1. Started the computerization of all activities and launched an important transformation initiative:
  2. Online Global Project Management System (GPMS) integrated with Remote Eye Monitoring System (REMS) and Intelligence Report Generation System (IRGS)
  3. 33,737 projects online have been uploaded into Global Project Management System by all the BBMP 17 Zones, 198 Wards and their Head office
  4. Project worth approx thousands of crores have been updated online
  5. All BBMP engineers and staff across Head office, Zones, Divisions, Sub-divisions, Wards, Accounts departments people have been given hands on training to date by KSPHC / Indian CST
  6. Every Individual BBMP engineer project task/responsibility has be fixed using this GPMS.
  7. The transformation initiative helped BBMP to come to grips with the myriad problems associated with increased workload and project execution in remote locations of Bangalore.
  8. Report has been enabled from Global Project Management System for the benefit of BBMP Engineers and the departments.
  9. A separate BBMP wards project for Citizens viewing portal has been enabled for getting their participation and sending their valuable feedback through the online Help Desk that delivers sustainable value to BBMP.
  10. Online Bill Report-A report to display the entire billing & payment details made to a single / multiple contractors is also made available.
  
Besides, the use of technologies like cloud computing, open-source software platform, mobile telephony and unified communication add to its key features of affordability and user-friendliness.

Following are some of the key benefits that would accrue to organisations by using GPMS-

i)    The progress of the project work done can effectively be tracked on day-to-day basis or periodically as per requirement.
ii)    This enables higher authorities to effectively supervise, control and review the work done at multiple project sites.
iii)    The quality of data and information received through GPMS-REMS mechanism assumes great significance due to its ‘real-time’ nature possessing unmatched evidentiary value.
iv)    Such instant and accurate reporting mechanism would help the nodal Ministry/Department to apprise itself of the progress made in project implementation work more meaningfully.
v)    The elected representatives and Parliamentarians would also be hugely benefited by this instant and accurate reporting process which would help them keep a closer watch on the utilisation of public money spent towards socio-economic schemes in their constituencies.
vi)    The platform provided through GPMS helps Citizens Forum and stakeholder groups to more meaningfully participate in decision making process of the higher authorities and thus add value to it.
vii)    In short, GPMS acts as an important and cost-effective means to make the project management working more efficient introducing higher levels of accountability and transparency in the system.

Lets Congratulate our city Government for adopting IT for Good Governance, this data what you are seeing has been posted by the BBMP engineers themselves and they are still continuing to update the same so that there is 100% data online and this is not a easy task. We soon expect the State and the Country to follow the same. 

In fact Indian Constitution has enshrined these concepts beautifully in Article 51A aptly titled- Fundamental Duties. The time has come to remind every one about their Fundamental Duties as enshrined in Article 51A of the Indian Constitution. 

Come let us do it together. Can you share your mobile number so that I can call you and clarify your points.

In the meantime we would like you to also through the attachment.

With regards,

Raja Seevan
Founder Trustee
Indian Centre for Social Transformation 
A Public Charitable Trust
 
 

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