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Citizen participation in governance


Can non IAS/Politico citizens add value to governance?

Dozens of dapperly dressed young people gathered to attend a conference entitled, "Exploring Spaces for Young Indians in Government."

Suri, who is spending the summer assisting the office of Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for Communications and Technology, is among the growing ranks of young Indians who are showing an increasing interest in exploring careers in public policy and government - areas in which Indian civil servants have had a historical monopoly.

Counter-intuitively, the majority of the attendees were young people comfortably ensconced in private sector jobs. If these two things are anything to go by, then it strongly signals a slow but steady shift in the years and decades to come, towards a younger, more inclusive and level playing field in India's governing fabric, which will ultimately bode well for its nation-building project.

The great Indian passport farce

Everything else

 My sister visited Passport Service Kendra in Devarabeesanahalli on the 25th for the reissue of passport of her minor child. Needed to travel for a family emergency so she checked the option for tatkal.

First WTF moment. The officer checking the application scratches out her tatkal mark and ticks normal, reason given, another inspecting officer will make the determination after hearing your case and not you.  

Second WTF moment. She waits patiently for the interview where the officer says oh you marked normal on your application so you wont get tatkal. He didnt accept the argument that his own officer, who was nowhere to be seen at that time, had changed it. As a solace she is told the passport will arrive in 3 days flat.

So all arrangements to handle the family emergency and postponement of  tickets on penalty is arranged. Now comes the whammy its 2nd june and no trace of the passport. Status as of 2nd June is

"Passport will be dispatched within 3 working days excluding the date of submission."

A web query to check the status met with the following response

Praja Commuter Rail ride in the press

Commuter RailPublic Transport

That’s what a group of Bangaloreans, most of them IT professionals, discovered as part of an initiative by, an internet community that addresses issues affecting the city. 

Five of its members – Muralidhar Rao, Pranav, Manjari, Naveen and Satya – travelled on local trains within the city to experience firsthand the feasibility of the Commuter Rail System (CRS)

Read more at Praja Suburban train ride report covered here by Bangalore Mirror.

Police Insanity


Traffic inspector creates jam

On her part, Inspector Susheela seemed unperturbed by the chaos she had created. “Yes, I parked my jeep on the road as there was no space around. It was important for me to attend to the traffic jam on the adjoining road in the interest of the public. Why don’t you understand that I did not go there for my personal work,” she retorted.

Prima facie a case of insanity? These kind of people need to be removed immediately. I call on Addl.CP Traffic, Praveen Sood to suspend her immediately for deriliction of duty and conduct unbecoming of a police officer.


Solution to disparity

Urban DevelopmentGovernance

Do we need new states?

The more long-lasting solution to regional and intra-state disparities is to create viable proposals for reducing them within the existing framework of governance rather than create new political entities. Unless there is substantially better governance, there is no guarantee that a new political entity will lead to better economic performance.

Interesting to find this analysis today. I dont see more states as the solution. So, that throws up the larger question I was discussing with some praje on a dry, soda filled, friday night. Is the unitary state outlived its utility? Will a federation structure work for a diverse country like India?

Walkability & electricity


“Overhead electrical cabling is a hazard to human life and property and poses an obstacle to road widening.The danger is even greater during the rainy and windy seasons. Also, a lot of power is stolen by miscreants,”  - A Bangalorean is determined to convince the government to go in for underground electrical cabling in the city

 I think the KPTCL & Bescom need to take this up on priority. This is an investment worth making. I know the linemen will lose gimbla as it will become harder to enable people to steal electricity. More than road widening 90% of obstructions on sidewalks/footpaths are related to electrical poles and transformers.

Let us take this up with our new corporators who will be at work soon.

New Chennai-Bangalore road


The travelling time between Chennai and Bangalore by road could get shorter with the governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka evaluating

possibilities of reducing distance between the two cities to about 250km from the present 350km, with plans also afoot to promote this route as an industrial and m

Shirady repairs no takers- NH in a fix


Shirady repairs no takers- NH in a fix

 “According to the recommendations a truck with 6 wheels can carry up to 10 tonnes and truck with 10 wheels can carry up to 16 tonnes. But the Transport authorities were allowing them to carry 40 tonnes”.

Frozen projects in Karnataka

Everything else

Glance through a sheet of government data and it’ll reveal that the number of projects actually implemented out of the total projects cleared in the State is shockingly low.

BMTC - New route for Sanjaynagar/Malleswaram areas

BusPublic Transport

There has been a long pending demand from the residents of Sanjaynagar, Bhoopasandra, UAS Layout and Nagashettyhalli to connect these areas to Malleshwaram and Yeswantpur via low floor buses. The Hospitals on this route usually serve aged and infirm and need a low floor service

Transforming Urban Transportation

Commuter RailPublic Transport

Sharing a video from India Economic Summit. Very interesting to note Om Prakash Agarwals introductory comments where he says - We are very good at putting standalone facilities but never have an integrated plan and connection with other related systems. Bangalore has been reliant on a one dimensional Bus system. This cannot scale.

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