Concentrate on problems of urban poor in BBMP areas


 
Civic, a not-for-profit-organisation along with the NGO collective of Bangalore City had arranged a debate “Presentation of Urban Poor Citizens Charter,” where the demands were made.

 Conspicuously, the JD(S) representative was missing from the debate, which was attended by representatives of various other political parties like BJP MLA Dr Ashwatha Narayana, former Mayor P R Ramesh and CPM Bangalore district secretary, K Prakash.
The charter concentrated mostly on the demands of defining the poor in the City and asking for a decentralised Government along with proposed changes under various laws for the benefit of the poor.

It asked the parties to ensure that the urban poor are given their title deeds where they are staying and should also look into matters pertaining to health and education.

Debt trap

Responding to the charter, K Prakash said that the current scheme of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) had pushed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike  on the verge of a debt trap.

“We agree with all the demands in-principle but defer with them on technical grounds. While the scheme of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission is needed, the scheme needs to have atleast 80 percent contribution from the Central and State governments to ensure that the Palike does not fall into a debt trap,” said Prakash.
The former Mayor, P R Ramesh stated that all the promises that the ruling party have made were false and under the RTI as filed by him, shows that only Rs 9 crore has been
released from the budget for the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike towards their works.

“The rest of the amount is from the spillover of the 2008-09 budget. The promises of releasing Rs 3,000 - 5,000 crore are just empty promises,” he added.

Rehabilitation efforts

Defending the ruling party, BJP, Ashwatha Naryana said that while all possible efforts were being made to rehabilitate the urban poor it also needs co-operation from the slum dwellers and others.

“We have identified almost 20-25 percent of the population of Bangalore as Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. But I admit that there is atleast 70-75 percent of the population can be eligible under the Below Poverty Line category.

We will try to lower the bar for being described as a Below Poverty Linefamily as soon as possible,” informed Ashwath Narayana.  

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