Monday, February 01, 2010

Movement seeks power to people in neighbourhood

Movement seeks power to people in neighbourhood

Bosky Khanna. Bangalore

Residents of the city can soon hope to metamorphose from whining citizens to empowered Bangaloreans. Initiating a movement to make citizens more active, the Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure and Development (ABIDe) convenor and Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrashekhar said on Sunday that citizens should play an important role in the development of Bangalore.
"We have proposed the development of neighbourhood area committees (NACs). These will form ward committees, which will chalk out a five-year plan for the development of the respective wards," he said.
"The city has seen only major projects; community development has been forgotten and citizen involvement is limited. Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) today do not have any role, except being branded as activists. We look forward to having each elected RWA as a member of the NAC so that the citizens can play a major role in the city and community development," he told DNA.
Speaking on the sidelines of a discussion with RWAs on Bangalore's future, "Enough is Enough — Let's Rebuild Bengaluru", organised by ABIDe, Rajeev said the NAC concept could be made legal by enacting a law guaranteeing citizens action. The Bangalore Regional Governance Act, 2010 has been placed before the government for its approval. Once the law is enacted, every neighbourhood community would be able to realise its powers.
ABIDe member Ashwin Mahesh said a plan for the city's development — Plan Bengaluru 2020 — had been prepared. This would help monitor the city's growth and put corporators who do not implement their promises on the mat.
The RWAs were enthused by the concept of an annual review of corporators' performance. This would give teeth to the RWAs, SC Burman, a member of the Indiranagar RWA, said. He added that the role of the citizen thus far had been reduced to that of a crying child.
Ashwin Mahesh said zonal-level coordination committee meetings were already being held every week to address area-specific problems. The meetings involved citizens, RWAs and representatives of civic agencies like the BBMP, BMTC, BDA, BWSSB, traffic police, Karnataka Land army and health authorities.

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