RWAs bat for better civic administration

Teaming up as a pressure group ahead of Lok Sabha elections, more than 750 Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) presented a slew of demands for better functioning of civic agencies, punitive action against land-grabbers, corrupt officials and fielding clean candidates in the forthcoming elections.

Under the Namma Bangalore Foundation (NBF) banner, the consortium of RWAs named the Bangalore Residents’ Association Confederation Ensemble (BRACE), consisting about four lakh people, on Wednesday put forth its demands for better civic administration in the City, with stringent action against corrupt officials.

Reading out the charter of demands, N S Mukunda, who is also the president of Citizens’ Action Forum, said the internal audit of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is a must. 

He said the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) should be restrained from acquiring land within the BBMP limits and there should not be any deviation of land use once acquired by the KIADB. “The KIADB rules must be amended. Forest land, wetland and the green belt should not be modified,” he added.

Earlier, one of the RWA members discussed the issue of acquisition of wetland at Bellandur lake and later, handing it over to the private builders. It was told in the conference that the CAF and the BRACE have been fighting against the allotment of wetland to private builders to develop a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Mukunda said there must be a public hearing into the projects worth Rs five crore and above. 

He also demanded revoking Akrama-Sakrama scheme, if it does not consider the problems faced by the neighbours.

“Before regularising any building, the BBMP should seek the consent of the neighbours who may be in trouble because of it,” said Mukunda. He also stressed the need for a public hearing before taking up any project.

BBMP audit

Rajashekhar, another member of the BRACE, said the BBMP may be the only agency which never audits its finances. 

“Every organisation, whether big or small, audits its finances. But the BBMP never does. This is the reason we never know what the Palike has done to public money. We demand that the Palike make the audit reports public,” said Rajashekhar.

One of the issues discussed by BRACE and CAF was the need to field candidate with a clean image and without any criminal records, by the political parties. 

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