Monday, April 21, 2008

Many pick holes in expert panel’s plans for Bangalore

Many pick holes in expert panel’s plans for Bangalore

Staff Reporter

‘No representation for unorganised sector in committee’

Need to ensure citizen participation underlined

Formation of sub-committees sought

BANGALORE: The expert committee on Greater Bangalore, headed by the National Institute of Advanced Studies Director K. Kasturirangan, may have recommended far-reaching administrative reforms for the metropolitan city of Bangalore. But it seems to have left out a few crucial aspects, as revealed during discussions on the committee report titled “Governance in the Bangalore Metropolitan Region and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike”, organised by CIVIC Bangalore on Saturday.

“In the composition of the Metropolitan Planning Committee, only recognised formal sector bodies have been included. There is no representation for the unorganised sector, urban poor, women or resident welfare associations. Is it only the organised sector that contributes to the city’s economy?” asked Kathyayini Chamraj, executive trustee, CIVIC Bangalore.

Incidentally, the committee has recommended representatives from the manufacturing industry, IT services, trade and commerce, real estate industry, education, health, urban planning and legal affairs to be included in the committee.

The planning committee, envisaged in the 74th amendment to the Constitution, is proposed to be vested with overriding planning powers and be allowed to review the investment plans of urban and rural local bodies that fall in its jurisdiction. The committee has under its jurisdiction the three revenue districts of Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural and Ramanagaram districts.

It also recommends the reorganisation of the governance set-up in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), especially through the strengthening of ward committees, which the report says, “must focus on the integration of citizens into the processes of local governance”.

Ms. Chamraj said: “But it has not spelt out how the committees should ensure this. Sub-committees should be formed within these committees to discuss issues such as public distribution system, roads and drains, health and education.”

Later, in an open discussion, members of the audience emphasised the need to ensure continuous citizen participation. Anil Kumar, member of a resident welfare association, said that it was necessary that apart from the fixed term of five years for the Mayor and three years for the BBMP Commissioner, there should be a set period for even area engineers.

Representatives of political parties said that they would ensure the implementation of the report in the next Assembly. P.R. Ramesh, a Congress leader, said that whether or not the Government would implement these recommendations was doubtful.

Krishnakumar, a representative of Lok Paritran, said that the recommendations provided room for “a lot of State Government intervention.”


Post a Comment

<< Home