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Road Cutting - Empower RWAs

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184 users have liked.
Infrastructure

In the current system if a person has to dig a road they have to get the permit from BBMP after paying the prescribed fees. The prescribe fees are high  - they are in the range of 1200 to 1500 per meter. For 40 feet road, it will cost as much as 15000 to 18000. Not to mention the additional convenience charges that one might have to pay to get the permit sooner. 

BDA, BESCOM. BESCOM and all private companies (read telecom companies) have to pay the same charges (sometimes higher depending on the type of road). The charges are meant to be used for the repair of the roads - and it is the responsibility of BBMP to repair the road.  BWSSB is an exception, they probably dont need permission for road cutting and dont even have to pay for it as long as they fix it. But they are notorious for not repairing the roads that they dig. The service roads along the Ring road between Hebbal and Benganahalli flyover were dug by BWSSB for laying water and sewage pipes more than a year back and they are still not repaired. 

High charges and deliberate delays caused by BBMP engineers to grant the cutting permits, tempt people to bribe the officials. People who have to dig the road for residential purposes (usually to lay sewage pipes or to get BESCOM connection) sometimes just pay a bribe to engineer and avoid paying the actual charges all together. Telecom companies either dont pay the permits costs at all or pay less than they should actually pay and get away by bribing the officials. 

The most significant problem about this system is the road that is dug is never repaired - sometimes for many months and in case of residential areas never. These un-repaired roads sometimes prove fatal to motorists. The un-repaired pits dug by telecom companies to insert drilling machines are especially dangerous - two wheel drivers usually dont notice them till the last minute. 

The solution to this problem is pretty simple - empower RWAs

1. Remove the road cutting fees altogether 
2. Make the RWAs the vigil authority
3. It should be the responsibility of the digger to also repair the roads - RWAs should be the enforcers and QA certifiers.
4. RWAs should have the authority to direct the BBMP engineers to confiscate the laid utilities (cables or pipes) or to fine the violators - incase the repair is not done or if the the workmanship is not up to the mark.
5. RWAs should then oversee the repair works (with the fine money).

Repair of dug roads especially onces dug for residential purposes wont cost more than a few thousand rupees. As long as the roads are restored to their original condition, BBMP shouldn't get involved at all.

Comments

silkboard's picture

Trusting the RWA setup

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120 users have liked.

The idea behind your proposal is nice - you are basically saying that citizens should have a say in signing-off on and doing QA of the public work done in their area.

However, what is the basis for putting up so much faith and trust in the RWAs? Are all of these democratically constituted and operated? Do RWAs have well defined "areas of operation", or will the same road come "under" multiple RWAs? what is the speed of decision making (or stand taking) of the RWAs in Bangalore?

Not that I don't know what RWAs are, but I am curious to know about their structures/operations. Would be nice to hear some RWA experiences from the ground.

Rithesh's picture

No big fan of RWAs - but they will be better than current system

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128 users have liked.

Your right - the idea is to let the citizens manage their areas. I have worked with a few RWAs in my region and also a federation of these RWAs.

Frankly i am no big fan of these - for the simple fact that they are mostly made of narrow minded, aged/retired people - disclaimer: like all general statements there are strong exceptions (had these ppl shown some interest in their earlier days things might have been different). But they have a good democratic setup with frequent elections, meet regularly and follow some self defined rules. They also have well defined areas. Until the time we have a functional ward sabha system in place - RWAs can fill the void.

In my area, the RWAs have done some mentionable work. They have ensured that parks are well maintained, lobbied for libraries and they frequently organize meetings with govt officials of the areas to solve local problems. It is too much to expect them to think out of the box but one thing they can do effectively is vigilance/QA of civil works.

idontspam's picture

 It is too much to expect

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137 users have liked.

 It is too much to expect them to think out of the box but one thing they can do effectively is vigilance/QA of civil works.

Agree

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