Zonal committees formed, to meet on Monday


Civic activists welcome move as demands for better basic infrastructure grow louder

Zonal committee meetings will be convened for the first time on Monday. To begin with, these meetings, with the sole objective of decentralising administration and bringing in better transparency and accountability, will be held in Bommanahalli, South and Dasarahalli zones. The meetings assume importance at a time when citizens across the city have been demanding better basic infrastructure, especially pothole-free roads.

The government had recently issued an order directing the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to convene these meetings once a fortnight. As per the order, the committees will not only finalise zonal budgets, but also be responsible for finalising the programme of works, which will be decided based on local requirement, protecting BBMP properties, supervising encroachment removal drives, collection of property tax and maintaining trade licence registers.

All proposals pertaining to the zone should be discussed at the zonal committee before being forwarded to the respective Standing Committees.

Representatives of Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom), Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), law and order and traffic police, apart from councillors, MLAs and MLCs will be members of the zonal committees.

Civic activists have welcomed the move. Kathyayini Chamaraj, who has been vocal about need to decentralise the BBMP for better administration and empowering ward committees, however, pointed out that the government is yet to lay the foundation for proper bottom-up planning. “The Metropolitan Planning Committee is supposed to prepare the guidelines on how the bottom-up planning by citizens has to be done. However, the MPC has never met to frame the guidelines,” she said.

“The next logical step would be to direct Ward Committees to draw up a plan for the ward after getting inputs from all areas,” she added.

Pointing out that the solution to all civic problems that the city faces lay in governance, Srinivas Alavilli from Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) said training must be given to Ward Committees on how to prepare ward development plans, budgets, besides monitoring projects on a monthly basis.

Ms. Chamaraj added that citizens should be allowed to participate and attend. “Without citizens’ participation, the purpose of these committees will be defeated,” she said.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 9:23:45 PM |

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