Sunday, June 29, 2008

Laying facts bare...

Laying facts bare...
Bangalore, dhns:
It was one of the rare chances that laymen were provided to interact with the decision makers in different government departments.

And the participants of the interactive workshop that aimed at shaping the City’s future ensured their voices were heard loud and clear. The sugestions were aplenty and touched different topics. So, were the assurances and plans spelt out by the government representatives.

Here are a few samplers. To handle the traffic congestion, a radical solution was offered by a participant Krishnamoorthy: Amend the Motor Vehicle Act so that licences are not provided to all new vehicles. “This is necessary to stop the addition of 1,000 new vehicles to the streets each day.” Srinivas from Jayangar called for a dust-free environment to be created in the City.

Another participant called for the installation of GPS in all garbage collecting vans so that their work could be monitored. He also appealed for asphalting of all roads in the City.

The need to provide proper sanitation was also raised by a participant while another demanded introducing automation of valves to release water so that the public were not at the mercy of the men employed to do the job. Members of the public urinating in public was also raised.

Govt departments response:

On automation of valves, BWSSB chairperson Latha Krishna Rao said, “It is an extemely expensive proposition and is not possible.” It can be tried out on a pilot basis, may be in a small area. “RCC slabs will be placed on valves,” she assured.

On steps to improve sanitation, she said that tendering for sanitary works in Yelahanka and Kengeri will begin within ten days. The process was initiated much earlier but the soaring prices of steel forced a rethink of the costs involved. The Rs 473-crore project `Unaccounted for water’ undertaken under the JNNURM scheme will redress water woes to some extent. Bulk meters were being installed at layout points, she added.

Principal Secretary, Housing Department, Sobha Nambisan said that preparations were underway for promulgation of a State Policy of Housing for the Urban Poor. “There exists so much competiton for urban land. Around 20 to 25% of land should be earmarked for economically weaker sections, 20 to 25% for lower income groups and 50% could be shared between the middle income group and higher income group.”

It must be made mandatory for private developers also to earmark some percentage of their constructions for the urban poor, she added.

BBMP Deputy Commissioner for Health Vasanth Rao assured the garbage collection will definitely be improved with GPS fitted onto vehicles. Numerous public toilets would also be constructed. “The issue of dogs is a sensitive one and a comprehensive effort is being undertaken in this connection and it will be on part with the rest of the world.”


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