Survey of cities: Why Bengaluru has dropped to the bottom

With no citizen’s charter, low per-capita expenditure and no sanitation plans, Bengaluru rapidly descended into the bottom of the table in this year’s Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) 2017.

The survey, carried out by Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, places the IT City at 23rd rank, lower than the major cities and towns in the country. The 2016 report had placed the city in the 16th position, while in 2015, it was 12th.

On a score of 10, Bengaluru secures 3 points, or 0.3 points lower than the previous year, and 2.1 points below the chart-topper Pune.

It is in financial management that Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) takes a big hit. Out of 140 points, covering parameters such as collection of taxes, per capita expenditure or producing budgets that can be implemented in the time frames proposed, or power of the BBMP to utilise or raise funds on its own, the city scores a meagre 29.3 points, the lowest among all urban local bodies (ULBs) compared.

With Bengaluru pretty much stagnating in reforms, the city has dropped down in the ranking, says Sapna Karim, Coordinator (Civic Participation) at the advocacy group. “AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) scheme requires financial management reforms, which smaller cities are doing. But, Bengaluru has not yet fixed the system,” she said.

While the report focussed on the financial year 2017, and used the last-audited budget actuals from 2015-16, little has changed for the city when it comes to laws and processes for governance.


Another deficiency is in transparency, with key documents still out of public reach, and in citizen participation where the survey finds that BBMP does not have participatory budgetary process nor a scheme for citizen volunteers.

While BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said he could comment only on seeing the report, he claimed that multiple processes were being implemented to improve financial upkeep of the civic body. “Our credit rating (as given in February 2018) is A-, which is a major improvement from the C+ we had, while a lot of information has been uploaded for the public. We will have to see what kind of data has been used for the study,” he said.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 7:25:58 pm |