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Meeting with Mr Manivannan, DC, Mysore (Venue changed to Bangalore)

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28 Jun 2009 11:00
28 Jun 2009 13:00
Asia/Calcutta
Governance

Bangalore PRAJA members have from long been eager for a direct meeting with Mr Manivannan, a bureaucrat who has had no reservations about interacting with them through the net. The meeting that had been planned some months back in Mysore had to be called off at the last minute because of some disturbances there.

At the PRAJA meeting last Saturday, when someone brought up the topic, I just called Mr Manivannan, and it was decided that we meet this weekend.

After several changes in the plan, we are now set to meet on

  • Sunday June 28, time 11 am
  • Venue Mantri Classic, Koramangala, Bangalore.

Those joining may add their names here.

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

psaram42's picture

I will join

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 Would like to join the car pool. Pranav can I Join  at Domlur at 6:30 along with Murali?

Thanks

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Will join from Mysore - brief agenda?

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Suggestion:

Instead of a public place like Coffee Day with all the noisy tourists milling around (it will be breakfast break point for tourist buses), my take is that we meet at a much better calm and cool place for better interaction,          of course with some Maddur Vade. 

-  We will have to give preference to Mr.Mani's choice of place, if he has any.

-  A brief agenda on important contemporary subjects/short discussions would be preferable.

- Vasanth Mysoremath

murali772's picture

Any suggestions for a

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Any suggestions for a quieter place within about 10/ 20 km away, either side?

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao

Joining

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I am also interested in coming.


manjari's picture

i want to come too

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I want to come and wanted to know if anyone can give me a lift from Marathahalli or HAL

jobkjoseph's picture

the agenda?

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btw, whats the agenda?

regards
Job


silkboard's picture

I am on

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6.30am leaving my home, can pick shekhar, manjari, anatharam + 1 more (5 in my car) from HAL/airport road side. No delays please - I have to get back by around 2 pm.

Coffee Day stays as Venue till one has a concrete alternate suggestion.

Agenda?

Voter ID system - carry on from that skype meeting we had. And see if Praja.in can help do any Internet based engagement initatives for Mysore.

Face to face meeting with Mani is due for a long time, and we owe him one for having given us so much gyan. So I am good to go even without a specific agenda.

 

Ravi_D's picture

Itinerary for the other carpool

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I'll drive my car - can take 4 more. I live on Mysore road, but thinking of driving back into Corporation Circle to pick up and wait for SB. SB should be there by 7am I guess, so, be there 10 mins to 7.

Two options:

> wait for me in front of corporation or

> I can drive around a bit (say corpn - kasturba rd - mallya rd - richmod circle - corpn...) if it helps any.

Leave a note here and your prefered pick up point if you wish to join.

Ravi

murali772's picture

Draft Agenda:

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1) update on JUSCO contract,
2) update on outer-ring road project (which can help divert traffic from N R boulevard),
3) http://bangalore.praja.in...,
4) http://bangalore.praja.in...,
5) how to gag VKM? :)))

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

postponed to Sunday

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Manivannan just called to request to shift by a day, everything else unchanged. I have two club AGMs to attend that day. But, my preference is for the meet with Manivannan. Anyway, we can be back by lunch time.

What say everyone else?

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

I will adjust ...to be there on 28th..venue?

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However, my preference also is to meet Mani Sir. Even I got Mysore Central Govt. Pensioners AGM. 

With reg. to subjects on Mysore for discussion,

1)  JUSCO is almost in final stages and any discussion may be of academic interest. Pl reconsider.

2)  Ring Road - is being executed and its completion as early as possible may help Boulevard prob.

3)  & 4) relevant enough.

5)  ????? Interesting - I may kindly be exempted by the august body of Prajas.in for excusing myself because under the Conduct Rules, when a subject relative to any member of the jury is being discussed, that 'Member on a Jury's' presence is against jurisprudence.

Add: 6 - Garbage collection in Mysore is still a big problem

Other issues on Mysore - pl browse http://mysorenext.com where on the home page with Photos..

Under Menu: Overheard 'What a........' photo series highlighting some haunting problems of Mysore.

- Vasanth Mysoremath

 

idontspam's picture

Pepper salted drumstick fry

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 pl browse ...  where on the home page with Photos.

Good photos, I liked the pepper salted drumstick fry. :)

You should take up some of them issues here on Praja. In the underpass the space above the pipeline can be used for a grill metal sidewalk. Easy to retro fit simple metal structures rather than making elaborate concrete sidewalk plans.

§§§ Tweetenator

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Good suggestion. Only way forward for safe pedestrian crossing

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IDS Sir,

What an Under Bridge... photo at http://mysorenext.com,  above is a clear example of how insensitive are the city planners with regard to basic needs of aam aadmi.  It is never too late.. Hope the authorities concerned will take note of this viable suggestion and implement it at the earliest for the benefit of citizens.

With regard to correcting the 'mother of all frauds', the electoral rolles I have presented a PPT to DC Sir and hope I can also showcase it at the meeting - Success Story of a Street Committee and CIVIL with GIS that are already on the praja.

I have also given a suggestion for making a novel experiment for a total make over of old numbers of houses and for renumbering  with the help of CIVIL with GIS without much investment or outsourcing but with the help of citizens. link:

 http://praja.in/discuss/forums/2009/04/hapazard-house-numbering-can-mysore-create-history

With reg. to Drumsticks, I am happy that you are still keeping up good culinary taste. Drumsticks are really good for health and....

- To add to the taste, at the stage of frying, if we add mashed potatoes, it gives a little extra taste.

- Vasanth Mysoremath

  

 

Mani1972's picture

Our meeting, and some material!

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Dear All,

Apologies for the confusion regarding the day of the meeting. As saturday is a working day, we have the sacrosant (almost!) 'janaspandana' programme, at the villages, it wont be possible for me to meet you all on Saturday. I am sure that i must have conveyed it as 'saturday' to Murali, instead of 'sunday'!

May be to compensate for the mistake, i am ready to drive down to B'lore on this Sunday. I will combine it with other works on the way and at B'lore. Kindly let me know your convenience.

Meanwhile, i happen to write answers for some questions from 'Hindustan Times' correspondent from Delhi, regarding the 'citizen's committee of Hubli-Dharwad (HDMC)'. I thought i will share it with you. It may help us in our discussion.

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

1.   How did the citizens’ committees come about?

 

After observing the difference of opinion, between the Municipal commissioners and the elected council, which used to end up in the commissioner being transferred, Nilay Mitash, IAS officer of 1991 batch and my mentor, once remarked, “Mani, try building bridge with the citizens, if they are convinced, then the elected councilors won’t create issues”.

 

I did agree to the logic, but then I have to wait till the spring of 2005, when I met the extraordinary person, Ramesh Ramanathan, who introduced me to the concept of ‘Citizen committees’ and motivated me to go for one at HDMC.

 

The idea was so simple and convincing, with few eminent citizens (Prof. Savadatti, Ex-VC of Mangalore University) of Hubli, supported by CMAK (Prarthana Rao), we went ahead in a big way to form the Citizen committees. The concept was customized to great extent. We developed in-house software to select the members, with certain criteria like 1/3 to be at least 12 educated, 1/3 women etc.

 

There was a good response from the citizens. We formed one committee for every polling booth, thus more than 570 booths, each having 9 members. This was the first experiment on civic participation in the lines of ‘The Nagar Raj bill’ in the entire country.

 

We had seminars, meetings, and handbook printed. The concept caught up well, though some of the officers and elected councilors were not so happy. Thanks to the able captainship of Prof. Savadatti, the committees survived, though there were allegations that they were not supported by the administration and council for some time.

 

They are still there, though their power is not fully tapped. They are a great force, and one day they will not only guide the HDMC, but also decide its speed!

 

 

2.   Aren’t they an obstacle too, in some ways?

 

They may appear to be, at times, but, they are not. They are not obstacles in any manner except that during their growth into a mature institution, they will also make mistakes, as anyone else does!

 

It is not easy to learn to work in a democracy. It is like learning to ride a By-cycle. ; Disbelief in the starting, then taking control of the machine, balancing yourself, and then moving ahead. One has to fall and hurt himself in the starting. But, then you learn the art.

 

This starting phase is very critical and prone to be dismissed as not starter. But, a persistent learner, and a wise teacher will know what lies ahead.

 

Similarly, with the citizen committees, it will take some time to get streamlined. But, once put on track, it has got the potential to reduce the distortions in our elected system, drastically. As we know, the distortions are not only in the way the elections are won, but in the system itself, like the ‘first-past-the–post, wherein, one gets elected even with only 30% of the votes, if the other candidates have individually polled less than him, though their collective vote may be more than 30%.

 

 

So the citizen committees are not an obstacle, though the transparency will lead to little inconvenience in the starting. This time is crucial. We should be able to bear the hurt and pain to learn cycling. But, they are definitely not an n obstacle.

 

3.   There does not seem to have much political opposition to your reforms. How did you manage it?

 

Political opposition normally takes its strength from public opposition. Hardly there will be political opposition when public support the cause. The public support can be enlisted, if we respond to the public in a credible manner.

 

The credibility of the HDMC was established in 1 year, with the following steps.

 

1.    The HDMC started responding to the citizen grievances effectively thru a 24x7 helpline, and 24x7 action teams.

 

2.    Much transparency was brought into the financial system, particularly on the expenditure side.

 

3.    Went down heavily on the illegal encroachments etc.

 

 

At the same time, we need to give credit to the political leadership of HDMC, who were not ‘insecure’, and hence gave the benefit of doubt to the administration. Also, every political leader wants development. And if reforms accelerate the development, then many welcome it.

 

 

4.   How did you develop your ideas of urban reforms?

 

There is nothing great about the ideas. They are based on three simple things:

 

  1. Transparent administration, which increases the credibility of the admn.

 

  1. Participatory governance, where the stake holders have a say. (This was followed in office also, with the top officials meeting once in a meeting to take collective decisions)

 

  1. Use of IT extensively.

 

Added to this is the ‘autonomous environment’ which allows the CEO quite a lot of flexibility, which is otherwise not available in the routine bureaucratic-legal constraints. It is a sin, if any Municipal commissioner is not using the autonomy to bring in drastic changes in the live of poor people.

In also would like to sincerely thank the following officers who moulded me on urban issues, like, Ravikumar, Subhash Chandara, Nilay Mitash, Selvakumar, Amlan Biswas etc.

 

5.   How did you start with the process?

 

The process started with cleaning the house. The following steps have been taken:

 

Put in a staff grievance redressal mechanism, where-in every month all staff, whose birth date falls in that month get to meet the Municipal commissioner, over tea. Thus whole office of 2500 employees gets to meet the Municipal commissioner face to face once in a year. This not only brought down their grievances, but also motivated them.

 

Public grievance redressal mechanism for citizens. Complaints have been divided into A (24 hrs), B (1 week), C (1 month), and attended to scientifically. Citizens started trusting the HDMC.

 

When we find that the pyramidal organization structure was not allowing us to respond to the citizens promptly, we went for major restructuring, involving decentralization, with opening of 12 autonomous zonal offices, headed by the Asst. Municipal commissioners.

 

This was a landmark event, because, it increased the efficiency greatly.  Instead of one Municipal commissioner, now we have 12!  There is a need to ‘decentralize’ and ‘empower’ the officers.

 

In any developing country, there will be a gap between the ‘demand’ from the citizens and the ‘supply’ from the government on all aspects of governance. This will gap will lead to grievances from the citizens. These grievances have to be addressed properly, as lapses in this regard show the government in poor light and erode the credibility.

To address these grievances properly and speedily, we need to have sufficient number of ‘decision makers’ who are ‘empowered’ to take decision, and are accountable.  It’s like cloning of the Municipal commissioner and appointing each to one zone of the city.

 

More the Zones, more is the help to citizens. But, the number s cannot be increased, due to financial constraints. The number of Zones per city has to be worked out on an empirical formula, which takes into account the population, area, revenue generation, qty of water supplied, sewage generation and disposal etc. Weightage is given to each of the factor.

 

6.   People in both Hubli-Dharwad and Mysore greatly support your reforms, why?

 

The public supported the reforms due to the following reasons:

 

  1. They look for somebody to bring in change. If there is a credible promise, citizens are ready to give a chance.

 

  1. The credibility was built assiduously, thru grievance redressal mechanisms, which responded to the citizens effectively. This credibility was the most crucial matter for the public to support. Credibility was also ensured thru, transparency and participatory governance. 

 

  1. It benefits them! They see that the roads are improved, corruption is less, services better. (Kindly refer to the ‘citizen card’ survey made by Public Affairs Centre (PAC)). Why won’t the citizens support it?!

 

Needless to say, the organization can’t be transparent and invite participation from stake holders, unless it has nothing to hide. Integrity matters.  

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

 

with warm regards,

Manivannan,P.

96633.69333

 

 

Manivannan

murali772's picture

shifted to Bangalore

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As suggested by Mr Manivannan, the meeting stands shifted to Bangalore.

Venue:
Meeting Hall no 1,
MANTRI CLASSIC,
8th cross, 1st main, S T Bed layout,
4th block Koramangala, Bangalore 560034

Time: 11AM (on Sunday, the 28th June)

The item no 5 on the agenda posted by me earlier is deleted. VKM will now be the special guest of honour.

Muralidhar Rao
 

Muralidhar Rao
silkboard's picture

I am still on

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Car pool and drive to Maddur for some Vade would have been more interesting group event, but Koramangala on Sunday is definitely more convenient. I am still on. 11 AM sounds good.

Dont worry much about agenda, positive energy always finds meaningful outlets. Just come, and lets all talk some sense and exchange some insights.

Sorry for not being able to post much these days. Working on a very interesting development, stay tuned :)

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Anyone.. Car Pooling from Mysore? Even if it is one way...

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Murali Sir and Hoi All

Will be honored to be in the midst of learned and luminous Prajegalu.  Will be failing in my sacred duty if I do not oblige 'some-bodies' who might be interested in huggggging me and vice versa!! (pun intended).

If there is a Car Pooling arrangement, will be happy to give them company !  Reaching Nanna Bengaluru in a Merc Benz (Bus)/Volvo is not a prob but reaching out to Koramangala will be a pain in the .... 

Thanks to Praja.in and Mani Sir for making this happen - if only all the beaurocrats were like him...??!! (with him, no conditions applied).  I will try to get my old pals Ramesh Ramanathans and his smt.Swatiji of Janaagraha to attend, provided they are free.  

My Cell No.9845950440 ...car pool?

- Vasanthkumar Mysoremath   

 

 

Ravi_D's picture

I'm on too...

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Ravi

Ravi_D's picture

@VKM

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I can pick you up from (and drop you back at) Mysore Road Satellite Bus Stop (or Mysore Rd / Ring Road Junction)... Let me know if you are interested, I'll call you w/ further details.

Ravi

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Thanks Pal

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Will be in touch. Waiting for car pooling, if any, from Mysore.

Vasanth Mysoremath

pathykv's picture

Meeting with Mr. Manivannan-

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Can anyone let me know the Public Transport connectivity to the Venue (Mantri Classic) (Bus roure no. & Bus stop name)?

A guide map will also help.

K.V.Pathy

Mani1972's picture

Agenda, and additional pick up facility!

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Dear All,

Though i won't be able to pick up anybody from Mysore, as i have my other official work on the way (Mandya), i can pick up any member in Blore towards Koramangala,( while coming from Mysore road). Similarly, after the meeting, i can drop some of the members back at Bangalore. ( I have personal work at Banashankari at 3pm, and have time to drop the members by even taking a detour!)

Now regarding the agenda, i suggest every member who is planning at attend the meeting may kinldy inform his expected 'take-away', so that i can come little prepared. Or do i take the agenda set by Murali as final? (ofcourse, we have the flexibility to talk whatever we want!)

Thanks to Murali for taking pains to arrange this.

regards,

Manivannan

96633.69333

 

 

Manivannan

murali772's picture

directions

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My ph no is 98450 75543, and my mail id is murali772@gmail(dot)com. I have drawn up a route map to reach the venue. Those who want to see it, please send me a test mail, and I'll mail back the map as an attachment.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
pathykv's picture

Meeting Mr. Manivannan

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Dear Mr. Muralidhar,
Please send me the guide map. Also the Bus number if known.
K.V.Pathy

pathykv@gmail.com

93421 79182 / 2528 3618

(I tried to send a direct e-mail, but it bounced.)

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