Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Civic summit: Big promises but no time-frame

Civic summit: Big promises but no time-frame
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy set an agenda for civic infrastructure in Greater Bangalore by arranging an interactive workshop for all civic agencies.

These agencies are bound to interact with each other on a daily basis and one wondered why their interaction was blown out of proportion. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has to work in association with Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).

BBMP is even on the board of these two organisations. But city councillors always complained of bad service from BWSSB. The Board is even accused of digging up roads indiscriminately. BBMP has an issue with the BDA too, in that the Authority hands over the layouts to the civic body but not the civic amenity sites.

While BBMP is the organistion providing civic amenities, the sites are held by BDA. BESCOM too was accused of indiscriminate road cutting. When there is lack of co-ordination in operations, the summit is of little use.

Further, the civic agencies made fabulous proposals like Metro Rail in 2010, apartments for Rs 3 lakh and roads that sound like a dream. But what happens when the government changes in October? Would Mono-Metro controversy erupt again? What happens to the expressways and ring roads, if opposition comes to power? All the projects proposed by the agencies are long-term projects that need 2 to 5 years to be completed.

Greater Bangalore needs solutions that work in the short-term, not long-term promises. BBMP needs higher grants, better enforcement rules and adequate staff at the field level. Without these, the civic body would crumble under the huge task. Until then, such summits are only of publicity value.


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