BBMP Budget must focus on project completion, welfare, and waste management, say citizens

The BBMP budget will be presented on February 29

February 28, 2024 10:30 pm | Updated 10:30 pm IST - Bengaluru

Citizens and experts want the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to focus on completing existing projects and increase spending on welfare instead of prioritising big ticket projects. The BBMP Budget will be presented on Thursday for the fourth time without an elected council.

While urban experts and activists are happy with the BBMP’s relentless efforts to increase revenue through property tax and advertisements, they are wary of misplaced spendings which could dent the prospects of both the civic body and the city.

R.K. Mishra, an urban expert, believes that allocation for white-topping of Central Business District (CBD) roads and consultancy for tunnel roads are of little use for public good. “The CBD roads are already in a better condition and spending on them again defies logic. In this Budget, the BBMP should solely focus on completing the pending projects. Many projects which were announced in the previous Budgets are yet to see the light of the day,” he said.

Citing examples, Mr. Mishra said the signal free corridor that was announced in 2014 has not been completed even after 10 years. He opined that tunnel roads can be constructed not more than 1 km to connect major junctions with the ring roads. Long tunnel roads which cost ₹600 crore per km are unscientific and even developed countries have failed in implementing the same, he said.

Vinay Srinivas, an activist, said the BBMP in the recent Budgets cut allocation towards welfare schemes. “This time, the civic body has to increase funds. Many street vendors do not have a roof over their head. The BBMP can supply plastic sheets for them. On the other hand, of the 8,000 bus stops, only 3,000 have shelters. The BBMP should build shelters to protect bus commuters from sun and rain. The BBMP should also focus on building footpaths for citizens to walk and cycle lanes for cyclists,” he added.

Srinivas Alavilli, a civic activist, said BBMP should prioritise the Climate Action Plan and should be a role model by making all BBMP buildings, including the head office and zonal offices, solar powered, with zero waste and rainwater harvesting. “The civic body should have decentralised waste management towards zonal level containment. It should make at least one zone self sustainable by not allowing any waste to leave the zone. The BBMP should focus on making footpaths around metros walkable up to 3 km radius in all directions and should allocate funds to make 100 public toilets on par with the airport this year. BBMP should resume ward meetings with nodal officers. Every ward office must have a meeting hall for citizens and a dedicated engineer, health inspector and revenue officer,” he said. 

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