Sunday, January 25, 2009

ABIDe not by the common man?

ABIDe not by the common man?

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Representatives of resident welfare associations (RWAs) and the ordinary citizens who are supposed to benefit from the Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure Development (ABIDe) task force were absent at the body’s first volunteer meeting at Koramangala on Saturday. The meeting was held to discuss on the four master plans under Vision Bengaluru 2020, brought out by ABIDe.

There were around 40 ABIDe members at the meeting, a majority of whom were techies and businessmen from southern parts of the city.

Asked why representatives of resident welfare associations were not invited, ABIDe convenor Rajeev Chandrashekar said volunteer meetings chaired by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa will soon be organised in different parts of the city and RWAs will be invited.

Dhyan Appachchu, a civil engineer who lives in Frazer Town, said, “Volunteers are mostly from the elite classes and are tech savvy people who download information. How will they understand practical difficulties? RW As should be invited so they can speak about the problems that the people face.” Saturday’s meeting was meant to draw out an agenda for volunteers and involve them in bringing about change. ABIDe wants volunteers to provide the task force with information and suggestions and act as the eyes and ears of the body.

Mr Chandrashekar said neighbourhood area committees (NACs) will be launched to empower the public to decide on what they actually need. The NACs will be on the lines of ward sabhas as proposed in the 74th Amendment. “Imple menting the draft report is the main priority. Existing infrastructure will be improved before new infrastructure is developed. No Public Private Partnership project will get state land unless it benefits the public at length,” Mr Chandrashekar added.


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