Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Planned growth for the city is critical, say former mayors

Planned growth for the city is critical, say former mayors

Chitra V. Ramani
They feel that development in Bangalore today is unipolar


DEMOCRACY: Both V.S. Krishna Iyer (left) and G. Narayana say there is no substitute for an elected body


DEMOCRACY: Both V.S. Krishna Iyer (left) and G. Narayana say there is no substitute for an elected body
Bangalore: Even as the elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) were announced on Monday, two former mayors, both octogenarians, stress the need for planned growth for the city.

V.S. Krishna Iyer, Mayor way back in 1962, said there can be no substitute for an elected body in a city. “If the Government had the will, the election could have been held in record time.”

G. Narayana, who was the Mayor in 1964, believes that only an elected representative (corporator) can represent the people.

“It is essential in a democracy. Engineers and bureaucrats cannot represent the people.”

Cauvery water
The former mayors are known for their work in getting Cauvery water to the city. Both compliment the then Chief Minister S. Nijalingappa for getting Cabinet approval for the project.

“I concentrated on improving basic amenities in the city. Rajajinagar and Jayanagar were in my time not part of the Corporation. As Mayor, I visited all wards, at least two every week, to check on the works and amenities provided. Along with officials, we would conduct inspection of the Corporation maternity hospitals and schools. Property tax was on rental basis and around Rs. 100 crore was collected from the 50 wards,” said Mr. Iyer.

The population of Bangalore then was just 12 lakh.

Transparency
Mr. Narayana, as Mayor, introduced a printed Programme of Works containing an account of the various projects and expenditure, to be distributed among the citizens.

“It was a step to bring transparency in the functioning of the Corporation. Citizens were informed about the works taken up and how much was being spent,” he said.

One-sided development
Both maintained that today development is largely one-sided and suggested that the new elected body concentrate on providing basic facilities in the newly-added areas.

A coordinated effort by all civic agencies is essential for the city’s development, they said.

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