A ground-level report from all the 198 wards by the Bengaluru Navanirmana Party (BNP) found that in more than half the wards, BBMP nodal officers did not know of the ₹60 lakh budget allocated to wards for various development works. This, BNP said, showed the complete ‘inefficiency, lack of process and fundamental lacunae’ in the expenditure of ₹120 crore ward grants.
It also alleged that Ward Committee (WC) meetings were not happening, nor was there any system in place to track if meetings were being held. Only 23% of the wards were confirmed to be holding meetings.
Presenting the findings here on Monday, BNP founder and general secretary Srikanth Narasimhan said BBMP announces many projects with much fanfare, and almost all of them end up failing miserably on the ground. “Even this allocation was pre-emptively hailed, termed as a landmark move towards citizen participation in local governance. However, given past experience, BNP has launched a campaign called ‘LekkaBeku’ with the objective of involving citizens and driving transparency in the budget which has been announced,” he said.
Rishi Raghavan, Core Working Group member and head of BNP’s Youth Wing, said, “The most important finding was the disorganised manner in which the BBMP functions at the ward level. Many nodal officers are unreachable and there is lack of clarity on who the officer which is a clear indication of a fundamental gap in the process of appointment itself.”
Subbu Hegde, Governing Council Member, said the party has recommended measures such as formalising the process of appointment of nodal officers, creation of a communication group between Chief Commissioner and the officers, forcing accountability through mandating uploading of meeting minutes on a central site and creating a simple process for engagement with citizens to finalise the budget.