Suggesting that there is a need for experts from various fields to participate in urban governance, Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda on Saturday said the government was open to suggestions from them.

Mr. Gowda was speaking at a seminar to set the agenda for Bangalore, which was organised by the Bangalore Political Action Committee (B.PAC), a citizens’ group that seeks better governance. He pointed out that there was a need to look at a mechanism to institutionalise participation from civic groups. “In certain areas when there are active resident welfare associations, local representatives reach out to them. There is a need for citizens to play an active role in order to solve some of the city’s problems,” he added. Admitting that he did not have expertise in urban management, Mr. Gowda said the new Congress government was open to engaging constructively with citizens in order to address their grievances.

Pushing for a greater fund allocation for Bangalore, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, president of B.PAC and Biocon Chairman and Managing Director, said there was a need to allocate a larger fund for Bangalore. “The professional tax collected in the city should be earmarked by the government for the city,” she said.

Fielding questions from the members of B.PAC, the Ministers chalked out their agenda for the city. Minister for Transport and Bangalore Urban district in-charge Ramalinga Reddy said that addressing the garbage problem, traffic congestion, drinking water crisis and providing housing for the urban poor and the middle class would be the priority of the government.

Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao said strengthening of the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority would help in improving the governance of the city.

‘More power to him’

R. Srinivasmurthy, Chairman of Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission, said there was a need for the government to give more resources and power to the BBMP Commissioner to carry out his responsibility.

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