RWAs want to have a say in garbage segregation

'Palike engineers and corporators have ignored our efforts'

Members of various residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) dubbed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s garbage segregation method as top-down approach.

Speaking at a consultation programme ‘People’s Participation in Urban Governance’ organised by CIVIC, an NGO, in the City recently, they said the Palike did not take RWAs into confidence on the matter.

“There are many RWAs who have taken up garbage segregation effectively for several years now. A number of experts and civic representatives from other countries have visited projects run by residents in the City. However, the Palike engineers and corporators have turned a blind eye towards the efforts,” said Susheela Vasudev Rao of West of Chord Road RWA.

When BBMP’s Joint Commissioner (Health) Salma Fahim explained the proposed solid waste management rules, participants feigned lack of awareness on new garbage rules in the absence of mobilisation and awareness programmes, ward-wise.

Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Dr Amita Prasad, who released CIVIC’s ‘Comparative Study of Community Participation Laws Across States,’ lauded people’s enthusiasm to engage in development projects in their areas.

Noting the need for ward committees to oversee the implementation of various civic projects, she said it would take a while before they are set up. As lack of planning gnawed at every level of governance, there was a need to address it, said Amita Prasad.

A separate cell

“To tackle systemic problems in civic projects, it is crucial to have a separate grievance redress cell in all departments. It should be headed by higher officials of the respective departments, who will be responsible to receive and resolve complaints,” said former Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde.

After releasing ‘A Guide to Best Practices in Citizens’ Participation in Urban Governance,’ he said these days it is forgotten that a democratic government is for the people, of the people and by the people.  

“One of the easiest ways to instil people’s faith in governance is for government employees to treat the public with dignity,” he said. He also asked citizens not to abuse government officials, as it would only worsen the situation. Instead, both should have respect for each other and resolve issues peaceably, he added.

Applauding the authors for writing on participatory governance, Santosh Hegde said  the subject was relevant, as large sections of the citizenry are evincing interest in development and governance of their areas.

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