Sunday, January 28, 2007

People pour out their woes to Kumaraswamy

People pour out their woes to Kumaraswamy

The Hindu

The 90-minute interaction resembled another Janata Darshan

# Several senior citizens praise Kumaraswamy
# Student wants Chief Minister to ensure that women are not harassed in buses

BANGALORE: "Policemen in the city are akin to beggars. The only difference is that beggars seek alms, but the men in khaki demand," a young participant told Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy at an interactive workshop on "Bangalore Today and Tomorrow" here on Saturday.

The youth was complaining about the alleged extortion by policemen from farmers who come to sell their produce at the Krishnarajendra Market.


The Chief Minister in his response was quick to take the blame and acknowledged that corruption prevailed among government officials. "But the elected representatives and the people are equally responsible for the rampant corruption. An official, who would have paid to get appointed, feels it is his right to earn back that money," he admitted.

Several senior citizens, who started off by heaping praise on the Chief Minister, ended up seeking sites for themselves.

"Though I have spent many years in the city, I am yet to own a site here," said a resident of J.P. Nagar, even as the audience booed him.

Another resident of Kodigehalli in Byatarayanapura had a piece of advice to the authorities on raising revenue in the newly added areas. He wanted them to resume collecting betterment charges from the erstwhile City Municipal Council (CMC) areas, which had been stopped from 2003.

A student of Maharani's Arts and Science College wanted the Chief Minister to ensure that women were not harassed in Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses. "Though separate entries are provided for men and women, it is of no help because we are pushed back. Neither the drivers nor the conductors take any action," she said.

Responding to this complaint, the Chief Minister directed the BMTC managing director Upendra Tripathy to conduct a workshop on good behaviour for drivers and conductors.

The entire 90-minute interaction resembled another Janata Darshan. But this one was exclusively for Bangaloreans.


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