Karnataka

Brookfield residents fix waterlogging issues through crowdfunding

The Brookefield Layout Residents Association installed removable drain covers  through crowdfunding to facilitate weekly cleaning.

The Brookefield Layout Residents Association installed removable drain covers through crowdfunding to facilitate weekly cleaning. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In May 2022, after heavy rains, residents of Brookefield Layout in Marathahalli, East Bengaluru, had to deal with waterlogged roads. Cut to the present and the residents do not have to face the same problem, and they have themselves to thank. Crowdfunding carried out by the resident welfare association to build a privately funded storm water drain (SWD) resolved the flooding problem permanently. 

In the last few years, around 1,500 families living in the Brookefield Layout have been crowdfunding to solve various civic infrastructure issues without waiting for the civic agencies to act. This, they say, is because multi-agency work will take a long time to be implemented. So, the residents themselves coordinate with the respective civic agencies and finish the infrastructure work.

The umbrella association of the residents, Brookefield Layout Residents Association, has built footpaths, placed manholes wherever required, fixed streetlights, and erected bollards with crowdfunding. They have also done regular drain and street cleaning using workers hired by the association, who are also paid by the residents. Three sweepers and one supervisor work in the locality every day to keep the area clean and are paid through crowdfunding.

The Brookefield Layout Residents Association fixed the waterway through crowdfunding.

The Brookefield Layout Residents Association fixed the waterway through crowdfunding. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Speaking to  The Hindu, Arvind Keerthi, lead organiser of Brookefields Layout Residents, said: “We residents have taken up crowdfunding and are working to build basic infrastructure in our locality since 2014 not because the civic agency will not implement it, but because they will take time to do it since they have to coordinate with various other agencies.”

“We are happy to see that most of the basic work has been completed in the area, due to which there are no issues in our locality,” Mr. Keerthi said, while adding that the civic agency is also encouraging this and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) recently spent ₹1 crore to construct a new road. “For big projects like this, we depend on the civic body. But we sort smaller issues on our own,” he said.  

The residents say their crowdfunding efforts are a form of “local taxation,” which is more transparent and ensures accountability as the residents of the locality are more aware of the problems than local political leaders. “If the residents take collective responsibility for public property, we can fix problems and avoid civic issues. Crowdsourcing is empowering,” added Mr. Keerthi.

Meanwhile, Aravind Limbavali, Mahadevapura MLA, said crowdsourcing by the residents can be done, but it is not a parallel administration. “The residents have also taken funds from the Mahadevapura Task Force for civic works. Various government agencies will help the citizens to get the civic infrastructure work to be done in their area. Crowdsourcing can be an experiment to coordinate with civic authorities,” Mr. Limbavalli said. 


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Printable version | Sep 8, 2022 8:28:33 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/brookfield-residents-fix-waterlogging-issues-through-crowdfunding/article65754835.ece