Friday, December 11, 2009

Public debate will bring clarity

Public debate will bring clarity

Bangalore: Overall, it seems fine as a document, with many words that spell hope. But there are real questions from the aam aadmi to whom these rules matter the most: Will it happen? If yes, how and when?
Surprisingly, their line of chorus on the Bengaluru Regional Governance Bill is: Have a public hearing and debate to bring in accountability, or it’s like replacing one evil with another! It’s been a long wait for the Bill, ever since the 74th amendment to the Constitution was made way back in 1992.
Here’s what a few RWAs had to say about the proposed new rule for their city, that’s likely to come up for approval in the cabinet shortly: Any legislation is incomplete until it includes a ‘public hearing’. There’s a specific way on how it should be conducted, even with new works to be taken up, where bureaucrats also make the document of exclusion public. Unless you go through a public hearing and bring a factor of accountability into the Bill, it’s like replacing one evil with another. Both this report and its predecessor, put forth by the Kasturirangan Committee, don’t mention the accountability factor. The Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC) is just another nominated body. It’s not going to be what it is projected as. Everybody talks about the 74th amendment, when it’s actually time for it to be reviewed and considered. N S Mukunda | PRESIDENT, CITIZENS’ ACTION
The entire document is still not very clear. More than it being on a website, the blueprint needs a full-fledged public debate. It talks about a directly elected mayor, but will it be implemented for these elections is the big question. Elected ward committees is a good idea. But, it should involve more non-politicians. The concept of MPC has always been in the dark. Nobody knows much about it. N Mukund | JAYANAGAR 5TH BLOCK RWA Absolutely necessary Act for the city. We need a directly elected mayor. We have been advocating this for quite some time. We don’t want a ceremonial post alone, but a performing mayor with more powers for a full term of 5 years — which is enough time to plan, direct and get projects executed. She has to coordinate between the government, elected representatives and people. However, we feel the member of ward committees must be first nominated from various categories and then scrutinized by a committee that comprises all city stakeholders, including bureaucrats and NGOs. Overall, it’s a proactive blueprint but it should have a time factor to take it forward. Dorris K Raj | CIVIC ACTIVIST


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