Why restructure?

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BBMP has apparently become "unmanagable". Its another matter they are also broke & also a den for the corrupt. Let me start with a statement which can be disproved. BBMP doesnt need to be split it instead needs to give up the "managing" part to the wards.

Why do we have wards?

Why do they mean nothing to us other than host BBMP engineers who have no accountability and accomplish nothing?

Why do the suport services like police, fire, electricity, water etc straddle boundaries that have no corelation to the ward?

Why are the ward committes dysfunctional?

What are the liabilities applicable to either BBMP or support services for deriliction of duties?

Yes its all about the ward. To me having a ward which has its own budget made by the ward committee and transparent P&L and has self contained support services is the way to go. Can we make the ward truly functional and do the managing then we dont have to worry about the charade of cutting things up like mysore pak and focus on outcomes instead? What are the challenges in making each of these happen?


16 comments posted
This blog is in continuation
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This blog is in continuation with this thread and its contents

Posted by idontspam on 28 December 2014 - 6:59pm
Quantative estimates
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Lets also define what exactly is "managable" by the city council. How do you arrive at a quantitative estimate of what it takes for the city to handle Water, electricity, waste, infrastructure, Fire, Law & Order, Traffic, parks, open spaces, culture. What is the staffing & SLA's it can provide? What does it cost? What is the revenue per square feet a typical city provides? What is the current revenue per sft within the BBMP limites by ward & what is the potential then? 



Posted by idontspam on 28 December 2014 - 7:27pm
Decentralisation consultation paper
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Here is a consultation paper on decentralization & municipalities

Posted by idontspam on 28 December 2014 - 8:49pm
lets check the basics on what basis 198 wards got into BBMP
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We need to go bakc and see on what basis 7 CMCs were mearged with BBMP and made 198 wards with also 100 villages added.        Can any one post on this which may be 6 /7 yrs back and then we can see whats happening now with respect to this assumptions and also as Sathya suggested on which is proper size for BBMP to manage, we should look into this. Just spliting is no soultion for Bankrkrupt and Corrupt BBMP

Posted by Sanjeev on 28 December 2014 - 11:30pm
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This word is being used in the sidewalk case also. There atleast there is IRC standards that put numbers, what does this word mean in creating municipalities?

Here is a good report on the 198 wards written in 2009. It raises a pertinent question on who should be responsible for the delimitation. Should it be the state election commission? Will they be able to determine sustainablity issues in the resulting municipality beyond election related goals? Secondly delimiting wards is different from creating municipalities. In this regard, here is a report from before the current committee was formed. What is scientific? 

Posted by idontspam on 29 December 2014 - 2:10pm
It has unmanageable because
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It has unmanageable because of corruption. They are not able to match revenues with expenses. Some streams of revenues which never fill the coffers of BBMP:

(1) Property Taxes: Most property owners do not pay taxes. In some cases, the officials are lax and ask owners to grease their palms while tax is being paid to BBMP. Even the most honest man is forced into the vortex of corruption because of these venal babus.

(2) Betterment Charges for new layout- The issue of non collection of betterment charges was being dragged on and on for over 15 years. The municipality increased the rates by three times with no scientific basis for the calculation. This issue required the attention of the honourable high court as well.

Please add to this list if you can think of other streams of revenue. These  normally never make it to  the BBMP coffers.

Posted by amithpallavoor on 29 December 2014 - 4:06pm
How many cities?
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Bifurcation is going to solve nothing. 32 Boroughs of London have 150K to 300K pop each, by corelation in Bangalore we should be looking at 30 cities or 6 wards per city. just for the BBMP zone. We shouldnt be looking at just the BBMP region but the greater Bangalore region including 9 TMC's other than BBMP. That will take this thing to a whole new level. We need a common model and process for all. 

I think it comes back to what does it take to carve out. First is to set aside space for open space (min 30sq.m./person), parks, garbage sorting/disposal, Civic centers (Assembly/Fire/Police/School/Hospital). What is the radius of support that can allow a reasonable quality of service to be provided without overburdening. What is the radius which will allow emergency services like ambulance/fire to come within the golden hour. What do you folks think is the first step in how many cities should there be?

Per this BBC youtube report the Boroughs of Greater London Authority are talking about Federating governance. 

Posted by idontspam on 29 December 2014 - 5:05pm
Objectives of the committee
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Mail from a committee member (edited) on what lines the recommendations could take

Briefly put, we are applying our mind to the following:


·         Goal – Improve quality of life in Bengaluru for decades to come (maybe I need to add the adjective ‘impossible’ to my cause list J)

o   Accessibility of quality services by all citizens; Accountability of Elected reps and Service providers

o   Among Top 50 global cities on liveability 

·         To examine whether this is better served by Multiple City Corporations in place of the monolithic BBMP spread over 198 wards and 800 sq kms

o   Can pure administrative decentralisation in the current set up do the job? Or

o   Is political devolution & decentralised administration the way to go?

o   And if Multiple Corporations, how many appropriate? Basis? Key parameters to be reckoned while splitting the BBMP

·         If we are to have multiple Corporations, how do we tie up the regional arrangements across Corporations and the entities in the Bengaluru Metropolitan area (the BDA area of 1219 sq kms)

o   Is MPC (Metropolitan Planning Committee envisage in the 74th Constitutional Amendment) the way to go? 

o   Directly elected Mayor in the region, a la Greater London? 

o   What will be the responsibilities of the Corporation and the Regional Authority?

·         How do we build Accountability measures for Elected reps and Service providers?

o   Starting at the ward level and work up the chain

o   Are services better handled by the Corporations? Or by ‘centralised’ agencies who effectively work as vendors for their specific domains be it water, sewerage, energy, roads, etc. 

·         How do we get the larger regional area to work as a single composite city experience while we have multiple devolved and decentralised Corporation units?

o   And while we are at it, how do we attain the nirvana of citizen participation?

Posted by idontspam on 30 December 2014 - 9:51am
There is a fundamental
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There is a fundamental problem with this exercise.it presupposes that efficiency is a function of multi corporations. The opening Para of citizen services and lofty objectives are really vanilla and sweeteners. Since in the second part, it goes straight to bifurcation as the Avenue and then only the mechanics of how many corporations is the question. In a discussion with one of the committee members I voiced the following concern that 1.bifurcation will be done,whether 2 or 3 or 4 us irrelevant irrelevant. 2.but the intergration at a city level, mayor /mpc etc will gather dust,thereby sealing even harder the state assembly's control of bangalore, rather than the real third tier. And if u look at the last paragraph, there is a question raised,whether centralized services is better or should they be handled by the corporations. This is a dangerous question, one which actually need not be asked at all if one knows the 74 the amendment and the dissolution of powers tounicipalities.. Anklets be clear, this excercise is essentially to avoid a municipal election in April, under this bifurcation confusion, nothing more. And efficiency, functioning of the municipality has(in my opinion), little to do with this excercise.the foundational changes required are elsewhere. Without those changes all we will have is many inefficent, corrupt corporation against the single one today. It might be however a more efficient way to distribute the spoils and wealth of Governance!!
Posted by vmenon on 30 December 2014 - 11:39am
74th amendment is the conclusion?
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Here is the link to the 74th amendment. It deals with the devolution of powers to the municipal corporations. What are these powers? How much has not been done in the case of BBMP?

Is the conclusion from Praja then that beyond postponing elections there is no reason to split BBMP? If so then we should put a final say in the matter as recommendation rather than letting them revisit this every elections. Even that can be a recommendation from Praja.

Is the conclusion from Praja then that BBMP is eminently managable with the current jurisdiction if the 74th amendment was implemented? What are then the specific powers that still need to be devolved to the municipal corporation that has not been done. Can we list them down?

There is no need for us, in this forum, to presuppose the split. While the committe has been given that agenda, we are free to recommend to the committee, as desribed in the original post, that if there need be no division we state that, but understand fully well what it implies. 

Posted by idontspam on 30 December 2014 - 12:02pm
How its playing out now
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Apparently whitefield wants their own republic as they dont get more roads for their cars, and signal free corridors, uninterrupted highways to the airport etc. Apparently the 26,000 crores that they generate is enough for them to live off and not have to give it to the rest of the city. There are 2 very good outcomes from this outcry.

One is Whitefield get to choose to do what they care about, me sitting elsewhere don't get to tell them what to do, its their destiny. If they choose wide roads & car traffic and no cycles or trains, so be it. If they want out of BBMP to be able to do this we should enable it under common guidelines that can be applied to others asking for it.

Two, they don't get to ask for facilities and highways out of their area and expect others to deal with the externalities of their decisions, expecially since they believe their revenue is not worth sharing with others. Other ward/area residents will have to vote on making highways/facilities for people thru their area which don't directly benefit their wards. The other wards may even choose to levy a tax/toll on the vehicles in some way to compensate for taking on the externalities. So the way forward IMO is give wards the power to make decisions for their area but not the power to dump consequences on others.

Posted by idontspam on 7 January 2015 - 12:03pm
Summary so far
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1. Splitting like mysorepak without data collection is not the way. 

2. Lay down guidelines & bench marks for governability. What is the minimum & maximum population that can be managed by a council of x.

3. What is the revenue & cost per square meter that is currently being generated by each ward and what is the potential revenue in those wards.

4. Determine what are the powers of the corporations vs BMRDA. Shared functions vs exclusive functions

5. Whatever it is it has to implement 74th amendment & adhere to MPC & RPC guidelines.

Anything else?

Posted by idontspam on 9 January 2015 - 8:41am
Mysore pak cutting begins
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So before the restructuring committee could submit its report the govt had decided to split BBMP into 3 zones. The committee quickly puts out an interim report saying there is a need for around 12 corporations to manage effectively but atleast 5 and need more time to gather proper data. Govt ignores and says 3 because they dont care about actually fixing anything its just politically convinient for them to do this. We the people are idiots, if we have even an ounce of morality we will stop this and ask on what basis are you making these decisions which affect our livelihood.

Meanwhile, cilck here to read the interim report. 

Posted by idontspam on 26 March 2015 - 6:37pm
a must-read report
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The restructuring committee did five months of work, consulted lots of people in the city and proposed that BBMP should be divided into 5-8 cities. It also proposed significant changes to bring in stronger citizen participation in governance, and to create a new planning layer that has been missing all these years. But a few urban development department (UDD) officials came up with an alternative: That the city should be divided into only three municipalities, and that no changes in governance or citizen participation are needed. The cabinet quickly endorsed the UDD's view, without waiting to hear the committee's opinion.
For the full text of the column written by Dr Ashwin Mahesh in the ToI, click here.
The BBMP re-structuring committee's 2nd interim report is accessible here. It's overall an excellent report, and if there's any hope for getting some sembelnce of order in the city's governance, it provides an outline. Very obviously a lot of professional work has gone into it, and as such I would recommend it as a "must read" for all of Bengaluru citizens.
The unfortunate part is that the government has chosen to sideline the effort, and do a barfi (or, Mysore-pak, as IDS puts it) cut, which is indeed sad, to say the least. Perhaps, it's time the Civil Society raised its voice loud and clear, and demanded that the Committe's efforts be taken forward and completed. 
And, going by the promise the interim report itself holds, one expects that the final report will be even better, more comprehensive. At such time, may be the Civil Society will need to come together to push the government for its implementation too. 
Posted by murali772 on 2 April 2015 - 4:50pm
Don't worry it will be like another report!
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Pls don't put lot of hopes on this report business that Dr. Ashwin and others take up on many occasions. My hunch is it will go the same way as his hard work on "De-congestion Committee" last year. Reality is , even Ashwin is embarrassed when queried on his suggestions and outcome of those presentations. It's just an eye wash. May be a way to keep some people busy with work.

If there is a will there will be action, if not, only reports.

Posted by kbsyed61 on 2 April 2015 - 11:52pm
Expert committee report on BMR and BBMP restructuring in 2008
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Read Chapter 6  Page 81  :


p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; }

The rapid growth of the city in the last decade has placed considerable stress on its physical infrastructure as well as the credibility of its governance. It has also been accompanied by a tide of rising citizen expectations. This pressure for reform was initially addressed through the formation of 7 City Municipal Councils and 1 Town Municipal Council in areas beyond the BMP. However, this proved inadequate to cope with the problems of metropolitan growth and theeffective delivery of services. Therefore, the government decided to constitute a single large municipal corporation by integrating the 8 ULBs as well as the contiguous villages. Thus the BBMP came into being in January 2008 and the municipal area expanded to almost 800 sq km with a population of over 6 million people. The delimitation process underway is expected to result in 145 wards. The key objectives for the formation of BBMP as set out in the Government Order are :

p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; }

a) Improve and co-ordinate infrastructure development for

; road and transportation network, water supply and UGD,

SolidWaste Management etc.,

p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; }

b)Upgrade quality of urban civic services etc.,

c) Strengthen administrative capacity to ensure better

enforcement of various rules/regulations and better co-

ordination in service delivery etc.,


p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; } p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; } Complet contradictory of present BBMP bifurcation.  Present committee should read this in total

Posted by Sanjeev on 6 October 2015 - 12:31pm