Thursday, March 25, 2010

It’s raining promises

It’s raining promises
Satish Shile Bangalore, Mar 24, DHNS

Monsoon is still far away but it is already raining, promises, that is.

Candidates in the BBMP poll are not sparing on promises most of which they may not be able to keep. The carrots dangled include adequate water supply, proper underground drainage, smooth roads and many more.

Irregular and insufficient water supply and absence of an underground drainage is the main complaints in low income residential areas. Without batting an eyelid, the candidates confidently assure them of fulfiling the demands, if elected.

But as just corporators, they can’t fulfil the demands. They can only exert pressure on civic agencies to get the work done.

Unlike in cities like Mumbai and Chennai, all civic agencies do not come under the city civic body in Bangalore. Corporators in Bangalore have no say in policy decisions of BWSSB, looking after water supply and sewerage line connection, Bescom or BMTC.

The winning candidate represents people of a particular ward in the BBMP council. The council deals with town planning, development of roads, collection of property tax, health and education services to the public, fulfiling the needs of the weaker sections and managing lakes and parks.

According to Article 70 (power of councillors) of the KMC Act, councillors may draw the attention of the authority concerned to any neglect in execution of corporation work, waste of corporation property or needs of his locality. They may raise issues concerned to civic amenities in the monthly meetings of the Council.

“Representatives from BWSSB and Bescom attend the meetings regularly. They take note of problems raised by the members in the meeting and take corrective measures.
However, the civic agencies do not consult the council for their policy decisions”, said
Mario Pires, additional council secretary, BBMP.

In Chennai and Mumbai, policy decisions concerned to water supply, road traffic, transport facilities are taken by the civic body.

The mandatory reforms under the JnNURM and the reforms recommended by the K Kasturirangan committee include bringing all civic agencies under one head. Once the recommendation is implemented the Council gets authority to have its say in policy decision of all civic agencies.

Former mayor Ramachandrappa said Councillors commands the authority to approach heads of civic agencies and get things done for their wards.

“If you go by the rule book, the civic agencies other than BBMP need not listen to the councillors. But the officers listen to councillors, when they come up with demands,” he said.

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