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Best Practices for Bangalore

I am trying to enlist here some of the best practices that I have seen/heard about City Management. Please feel free to add, edit/dissect as you may please.

1. Locality based Infrastructure Management - A la Delhi model can be adopted by empowering local Residents' associations, where available, to get Infrastructure like Roads, Parks, Water and Waste management managed and maintained on a locality basis and make engineers and other city corporation employees answerable to such associations as well as to their own management. This can lead to quick addressal of grievances and form power centres for effective infra management. In Delhi, residents' associations are headed by retired govt. employees who have plenty of time on their hands and a vision for their locality.

2. Local waste disposal - Local waste disposal and handling centres can be formed on the basis of tonnage of waste generated and it can be linked-up with direct waste consumers such as the Khan brothers of K K Plastic Waste Management Pvt Ltd fame, thus avoiding useful waste filling space in landfills.

  • Door-to-door collection is a good step in this direction, but infrastructure should be augmented to collect waste in a modern hydraulic haul truck instead of a hand drawn cart.
  • Refusal to collect unsorted waste would promote participation by households in the effort.
  • Seggregation and management can be privatised providing much needed employment to hundreds.

3. Green Citizen points - Allocate green points to households that collaborate and co-exist with the surroundings by being exemplary. For ex: A house which is built with 100% adherence to the approved plan, having rain water harvesting, built with no disruption to trees around it and using alternate source of energy such as Solar energy will get 'X' number or green points. These points could then be exchanged for material benefits such as increase in FAR for future construction, say. Thus incentivising active citizen collaboration can result in large-scale awarness and mutual benefits.

4. Impose Recycling tax on Sale of electronics, batteries and cars - Some are not going to like this idea, but someone's gotta pay for recycling of electronics and hazardous waste. The concept may be very new in India since the re-use of electronics is extreme and is junked only 7-15 years after purchase, depending on the working condition.
This recycling tax can be used to fund proper disposal of hazardous waste in electronics, cars, air-conditioners etc.

5. Primary health-care scheme for people Below Poverty Line - This scheme operated by the City municipality in tie-up with a third party service provider(for ex: Mediclaim) could be a boon to people who cannot afford costly treatment/ or day-to-day primary healthcare. This could be augmented by funds from the govt sponsored Yashaswini health insurance scheme at minimal or no-cost to eligible citizens.

These are just indicative suggestions and may be unviable for implementation due to various reasons, but what stops us from discussing and suggesting this to the BBMP.

tsubba's picture

wisdom from around the world

check out these series of documentaries
e2 economics of being environmentally concious
e2 design focuses on design aspects.

of all the episodes i saw, i found 'adaptive reuse in the netherlands' and 'bogota: building a sustainable city' very relevant for us. to see full length episodes, goto --> click on webcasts, --> scroll down to e2 design season two. they also have a youtube channel, that contains only trailers & limited content podcasts.

Bogota story
naturally, the bogota story contains its proudest achievement its brts public transport. but what happenned at bogota goes beyond brts. penalosa talks about a lot of allied things, getting the shopkeepers to vacate footpaths, the need for public spaces and the mother of all public spaces the el provenir promenade. i have read about bogota a bit thanks to arun, but it was very interesting to see the man's angle to this. very interesting story. some things he says: people must walk like fishes swim, people have been walking for 5000 years, this is not a footpath, it is a park, i wanted public transport to be sexy. nobody takes buses in bogota they take the transmillenio.
a presentation arun sent me once.

Netherlands story
the netherlands story starts with 'despite being smaller than newengland and denser than japan, 80% of netherlands is farms and public spaces'. and then it goes on to discuss the tension between sprawl and space. what amazes me is the level of thinking, anticipation and attention to detail for a redevelopment project.
bda has got its approval for the massive kg layout. hopefully, they put some similar thought and foresight into this. if they manage to get the land, they have a blank slate.

tsubba's picture

locality based

i agree with your locality based approach. that is how things should be thought of. have been discussing this with blrsri for a while now, but that has been mostly about networks. they did this bbmp thingie with all that gutso, i think it dilutes focus and attention. needs and essentials of koramangala are much different from those of malleshwara which are much different of those of rajajinagara and must be addressed locally. koramangala citizens are best equipped to decide on what type of schools, parks they need, whether to allow this business here and that business there, how much set back is ok, how much FAR is ok, etc etc. these are decisions that should be a made locally and locally only. but anything that is a part of a network, roads, water and sewage, electricity etc need to be centrally planned and executed. you have to think of them at that scale. local optimization serves no purpose, because the supply/sink is not local.
muni_blr's picture

locality based: Revenue earning mechanism at locality level

I feel every locality should have its own revenue earning mechanism through renting out of commercial spaces and using the revenue to the improvemenet / maintaining of facilities and infrastructure. Transparent audit control of the finances can help things I feel.If I am planning a 1000 acre locality. I can ear mark some part of it ( 30 to 40 acres) for commercial development and the ownership with the government. The Local body will use the land to plan out the commercial actvity and generate revenue and can be accountable to the Govt and the people.The Govt can always involve the local representatives of  the locality while planning development activities involving the locality.Though the existing localities cannot use this model, future localities can benefit a lot if this thought is discussed right.Hurry HomeThe Sage


Hurry Home

The Sage

santsub's picture

Locality based revenue - expanded to exisiting areas

Good post Muni_blr - I was thinking on the same lines.. and I think the existing localities like all blocks of Jayanagar and all blocks of Rajajinagar & Malleswaram be declared separate corp limits and governing bodies who take care of revenues and upkeep of the cities. I know people will hate this but citybased tax can be collected to improve infrastructure and facilities.

This model has worked well in the US and thats the reason its so organized. Citizens will have their voice on most of the projects which will make it truly democratic. Anything goes on voting as far as Issues are concerned. My 2 cents on this.

tsubba's picture

going uber local

awesome posts folks. nobody can sit where ever he sits and impose and make generic predictions about what is good for whom. in the us it goes beyond all this. in the middle of the week, at 7:00 pm there are people who sit and debate every single change to the neighborhood. even the biggest corporation in the whole wide world cannot set shop without a decision by a majority of a very lower middle class community approving it. sat through some of these meetings. it just blew my mind, how much details and influence ordinary folks have. it is not that walmart does not try to twist arm. but the manifest idealism amongst locals is just way beyond belief.
santsub's picture

Details - galore

Its awesome - I have been through these meetings too. Infact the homeowners association is the lowest of the groups that you can find. Each area can have such associations which not only helps in building a great community but in total a great corp and a greater city :)

 The HOAs (Home Owners Assns) meet monthly and decide on many key issues affecting the community. It goes long way in people even maintaining the streets and their own gardens (if any) This also helps in keeping a check on crooks and shady activities in the area. Not to mention what an influence they can create in controlling business establishments and commercialisation in the wrong way. All this is non violent and is done in a very democratic peaceful and lawful way.. Hope we can implement this as a pilot project in certain areas in Bangalore and see how our system will adopt it.

Thanks tarle - I remember the walmart incident. I have a friend who was the president of his homeowners assn and it took 3 months for them to convince how a Super Walmart was required in the area to cut down lot of driving and improve local jobs in the area. How ever they did consult all the evironmental and other related issues before voting for it in favour.



silkboard's picture

comments here, and Kasturirangan committee

I have been thinking of a response to another thread which touches upon similar issues (Kasturiranga comiitee) recomendations. (here)

If you notice the recommendations, they seem to have suggested that Bangalore Metro Planning Committe would have overriding powers over “all other plans developed by other State functionaries and local bodies” within the wider metropolitan region.

This is something I was trying to understand - what does MPC having overriding power over local bodies mean? the very reason MPC should have overriding powers over state functionaries, local bodies should have the same over MPC.

How do MPs and MLA share the task of promoting their region's development? Will the same model apply to collaboration between MLA and local councillors (or memebers of MPC as K committe calls them). Whats the role of RWA presidents, if local elected representatives get true power (including fiscal responsiblity), the why an alternate advocacy setup like RWAs?

Imagine mandatory participation by people (who can be represented by Home owners associations here) in very local budget making process and presentation.

Money is the root here - local areas must get to decide the best way of spending money for very local projects. But then, there will be projects that span multiple local areas - in those cases all impacted local areas get to vote, but K committee's MPC has the veto. If the work proposal spans outside of Bangalore Metro area, then MPC plus the impacted neighboring municipality or MPC equivalent get to vote and state government has the veto.

There are two main point of all of this:

- delegating spending powers to local bodies as much as possible. That way, we don't have Gowda and Krishna to blame for all our ills

- state governments to have less and less say in local matters. That way Gowdas and Krishnas can't play the rural vs urban cards or UK vs DK cards that easily.

Wrote that real fast. Will correct errors etc in a bit. Isn't all this just pure Mani Shankar Aiyer talk - stuff that is hard to implement !?

Naveen's picture

Re - Wisdom from around the world

TS - Great work.

I enjoyed every bit of it. What we need is an Enrique Penalosa here (or should I say atleast 10 Penalosas!)  to sort out this complete mess that our city is today.

What celebrities said about the bicycle :

HG Wells, Scientist:  "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race".

Iris Murdoch, Author: "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart".

Earl Blumenauer, Rep. US Congress, 1948: "Let's have a moment of silence for every American stuck in traffic on their way to a health club to ride a stationary bicycle". 

Elizabeth West, Author: "When man invented the bicycle, he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision & balance for the convenience of man. And unlike subsequent inventions, the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man's brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, & of no harm or irritation, to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle".

Bengloorappa's picture

Good to see all the

Good to see all the discussion taking place here about locality based mangement.

I completly agree with you that Roads, Water, Sewage Mgmt should be a function of a centralized management, but once the infra is in-place, upkeep should be a function of the local RWA. The RWA should be given enough say and reach to get things moving for them fast.
I dont know if we are mature enough to handle raw power just yet, as a first step we should try and emulate the Delhi model where the chief-engineer of a particular zone has a hotline with each RWA in his area. This way we can put a permanent end to the complacency and contempt that creeps in to the civic system and turns even the best IAS/KAS official into a minting machine.

I am a bit worried about how vested interests might start creeping into the new power sharing formula with RWA's. Wherever there is power and money, people with ulterior interests start playing their cards to gain benefits, therefore a successful formula could lie in determining the correct chunk size of a locality and allowing them to form an RWA of just the right size - big enough to address immediate needs of the locality effectively and small enough not to cause major upheavals in terms of influence wielded in awarding contracts etc.

santsub's picture

Best Bet to make Bangalore Worldclass

I was browsing through news this morning and was enthused to see that Mr Kalmadi is eyeing the 2020 olympics for India. I think why should it always be New Delhi? can' Bangalore host 2020 Olympics.. I know of the fact how cities which did not have much of infrastructure before to host olympics have become major centers in the world. I am sure this will push the govt in being proactive too and its a pride to make our city worldclass.. wow

ssheragu's picture

Excellent suggestion we

Excellent suggestion

we praja members should atrive for Bangalore to host 2020 Olympics instead of other cities

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