Monday, February 01, 2010

SPOT THE OFFICIALS HERE

SPOT THE OFFICIALS HERE
This was a meeting headed by Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development Task Force (ABIDe) members to discuss city’s problems ...
NEETHU REGHUKUMAR


Residents were left fuming on Sunday morning after just two officials turned up for a meeting presided by the Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development Task Force (ABIDe) members to discuss the problems facing the city and come up with solutions. The officials who turned up in NGV Builders Club Hall at Koramangala, which was packed with almost 300 residents by 11 am, were from Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). Another official from BBMP turned up towards the end of the meeting.
“What is the point in talking when the guys who are supposed to implement the ideas and plans are not present here?” citizens rued.
Their apathy is shocking since the ABIDe chairman is Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa who also holds the Bangalore development portfolio.
The people gathered at the venue were representatives of Residents' Welfare Associations from across the city. They had turned up in full force in the hope of voicing their opinion before authorities.
S C Burman, chairman, coordination committee of Resident Welfare Associations in and around Indiranagar, said, "When I was invited, I was told that the BBMP commissioner, BESCOM officials and BWSSB chairman too would be present."
M V K Anilkumar, secretary, FORWARD68 (Federation of Resident Welfare Association of Ward 68), said, "People had so many problems, but did not speak up, as there was no one to listen to them. Many walked out on realising that nothing is going to happen.”
Y V Pai, chairman, Interim Governing Board, Koramangala United Citizens Council, said some people appeared confused about the agenda. "It was not meant to address grievances. The idea was to expose people to 'Plan Bengaluru 2020'," he said.
'WHY HAVE OFFICIALS?'
ABIDe convenor Chandrashekar insisted there was no need for the authorities to be present. "This is a meeting to discuss the future of Bangalore and what needs to be done. This has to reach the politicians. I have a very positive attitude and I am sure that the opinions and views expressed here will reach them and will contribute towards bringing about change."
But, the citizens were not buying.
Burman said, "We came here to give our opinions on the future of Bangalore. But, there was no government representative who is worth talking to. Only person here is Chandrashekar who is as good as any one of us."
Anilkumar said, "We expected representatives from every department. The organisers could have at least recorded our questions and sent it to the departments concerned."
If this is how seriously our officials take discussions about the city's future, Bengaluru can only pray that it even has a future.
WHAT IS ABIDE?
Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development (ABIDe) Task Force is an initiative by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to adopt new urban planning models, upgrade infrastructure and improve facilities to create a better environment and a good quality of life.
WHEN did it come into existence?
2009
WHO are the members?
Heads of all government agencies, including BBMP, BMTC, Bescom, BMRCL, BMRDA, BDA, police, BWSSB, urban development department, housing department and BARL.
WHAT is it supposed to do?
Revive and rebuild Bangalore through a combination of comprehensive planning, improved municipal services and new investments in infrastructure.
HOW is it supposed do function?
By involving citizens, seeking their suggestions, and deliberating on various problems and future projects.


Jayanagar MLA B N Vijaykumar, ABIDe convenor Rajeev Chandrashekar, ABIDe members R K Misra and Ashwin Mahesh , and the lone official BWSSB chief engineer (maintenance) Venkataraju



CITIZENSPEAK



S C Burman, chairman, coordination committee of Resident Welfare Associations in and around Indiranagar: "Who will rebuild Bangalore? Not you and me. It is the government and officials, and they are not present. Officials from various government organisations should have been here. When I was invited, I was told that the BBMP commissioner, BESCOM officials and the BWSSB chairman would be here, but no one turned up."



M V K Anilkumar, secretary, FORWARD68 (Federation of Resident Welfare Association of Ward 68): "BBMP Chief Engineer (south zone) Ananthswamy backed out and Jagannath, the executive engineer for BTM Layout, came towards the end of the meeting. When we sought an explanation, he claimed that he was informed about the meeting very late. We cannot conduct such public discussions in this way. It should have been better organised."

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