Bengaluru

Crowd-sourced survey of wards in Bengaluru

Ward committee meeting with BBMP officials at ward number 153 at Jayanagar, Bengaluru.

Ward committee meeting with BBMP officials at ward number 153 at Jayanagar, Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

The idea originated from an ongoing study on the efficacy of ward committees

Neighbourhoods in Bengaluru are no strangers to the slew of problems plaguing the city, ranging from road safety to parking woes and water supply issues to poor solid waste management.

In an attempt to ‘capture’ the status of 198 wards in the city, the Environment Support Group (ESG), a not-for-profit organisation working on a host of environmental and social justice initiatives, is taking up a survey, which will be based on crowd-sourced citizen generated information. The Azim Premji University has extended a research grant in support of the study.

According to Leo Saldanha, coordinator of ESG, the idea of the survey originated from an ongoing study on the efficacy of ward committees. “We noticed that ward committees have got no systemic rigour. There is no proper understanding, even among the councillors, of what the ward is,” he said.

Though mandated, the Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC) is yet to be constituted. Ideally, the MPC and ward committees have to work on a city-wide vision plan.

“It is time to make citizens decide on what the city needs by reclaiming the right to participate in decision-making,” Mr. Saldanha added.

“This is where the survey comes in. It will be the first survey on the status of the wards based on citizen research, and will be a template to evaluate the state of a ward, the functioning of ward committees and quality of governance,” he said.

Any citizen or a group of individuals can participate in the survey. It involves assessing how the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) functions and how this reflects in the state of a ward by evaluating operational efficiencies in around 40 focus areas of civic governance. “The effort is both educative and empowering. The information can be just uploaded on a Google Form, which will be collated and analysed. The final report may be released in September,” he added.

Citizens groups have welcomed the move. Srinivas Alavilli from Citizens for Bengaluru said the crowd sourced survey will help highlight issues at the local level.

“Any study that is inclusive and broad based will help understand the ground reality. It takes tremendous effort to undertake such a survey,” he said.

To participate in the crowd sourced survey, just visit https://tinyurl.com/y3tl9d9l

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 11:40:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/crowd-sourced-survey-of-wards-in-bengaluru/article28102795.ece

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