The Civic Front may appear to be a potpourri of eight political parties that have come together to contest the BBMP Council elections.
However, with a majority being Left-leaning organisations, its members had little difficulty in finding common ground with regard to poll promises and their common manifesto.
CPI(M) member Rajshekar told The Hindu that the focus will be on issues that affect the working class, minorities and women.
If voted into power, the front promises to turn the way the city looks at “infrastructure building”.
The first promise of the front would be to build infrastructure — road works, water and drainage systems — in neglected pockets of Bangalore, rebuild footpaths and develop pedestrian-friendly roads.
This, front members claim, will be accomplished in individual wards in a year.
“Within a year, we will ensure that there is one tap for every 1,000 people in our ward. Basic amenities will be our [primary] focus,” Mr. Rajshekar said.
Asked about their apprehensions on being able to get funds from the BJP Government, the members emphasised that all these parties believe in “struggles and movements at the grass-root level”.
“We don't believe there is a dearth of funds. If our candidate comes to power, substantial funds from JNNURM or other Central and State Government funds, which are being misused to build fancy bus depots and AC shelters, will be used for public good,” Mr. Rajshekar said.
The second promise of the Civic Front is on building community-level spaces. For instance, among a long list of plans are community health centres in each ward, small markets (where commodities are sourced and sold at fair prices), neighbourhood watch programmes for safety, a library and a small museum in each ward.
“Experts from public research institutions such as the Indian Institute of Science and the National Institute of Advanced Studies will work with us in developing the best and cost-effective way to go about this plan,” Mr. Rajshekar said.
And third, the front promises to manage urban waste. With 2,000 tonnes of garbage being created in Bangalore, the issue “affects the rich and the poor alike”. “We will actively promote segregation at source and recycling of urban waste. People on the outskirts suffer deeply because garbage is dumped in their backyards,” Mr. Rajshekar said.
More importantly, he said, the entire contract-based system of garbage clearance will be scrapped. All issues do not need large investments, he pointed out.
Here, the front says, it will work with residents to evolve a solution.