Mayor urged to restore ward committees

Mayor urged to restore ward committees

Citizens For Bengaluru (CfB) has urged Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun to restore ward committees by November 1. Members of the civic initiative made the demand in a letter to the new mayor on Tuesday. 

“Last year, when the high court ordered that ward committees must be formed, CfB held a public campaign ‘Namma Samiti Namma Gaagi’ and requested people to nominate active citizens to the ward committee,” the letter read. 

It said thousands of people responded to the call and 600 formal applications were submitted. Unfortunately, though, only three have been nominated while the rest were ignored due to political compulsions. 

“The high court mandated micro plans to be developed by ward committees; it has not been taken seriously by BBMP so far. Even though ward committees have been formed almost a year ago, regular meetings are not held. We believe ward committee meetings must be held regularly, on a fixed schedule, for example, first Saturday of every month in the ward office,” the letter added. 

CfB founder Srinivas Alavilli expressed the strong belief that most of the citizens’ issues such as garbage, bad roads, pollution and public transport could be sorted out with greater participation in the local governance and decision-making.  “That’s why we appealed to the mayor to announce regular ward committee meetings and ensure citizen participation,” Alavilli said, adding the mayor appreciated their suggestions and promised action in the form of a circular or a public announcement.  CfB co-founder Tara Krishnaswamy said the forum had asked the mayor to hold ward committee meetings across the city on a monthly basis. The civic body should encourage those who are not a part of the committee to participate in such meetings.

“This is one of the decentralised and scalable ways of addressing issues in the neighbourhood in conjunction with the elected councillors,” she said.