Citizens expect Palike to focus on basic amenities

Citizens expect Palike to  focus on basic amenities

Promises of infrastructural growth do not appeal to the residents and experts any more, thanks to the mindless growth and unscientific growth of the City. All they want from the BBMP budget this time is a thrust on maintenance and sanitation.

Every year, the BBMP spends around Rs 450 crore for garbage management. Yet, the City has become no cleaner. Citizens therefore demand transparency in utilisation of funds.

“Maintenance of hygiene is a big challenge in Bangalore. Drains, sewers, roads and footpaths are all dirty. Potholes are not filled and the roads are not asphalted. One can find debris on sidewalks and pavements that needs to be cleaned up. There are areas that have continued to remain dirty for decades. The BBMP should first focus on these issues and not on any grand schemes that it does not have the capacity to handle,” Mohandas Pai, vice president of Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) told Deccan Herald.

He added that the BBMP has not been able to maintain a proper tax system.
The Palike has reported arrears of Rs 800 crore to Rs 1,000 crore. Bangalore has over 21 lakh properties, but only 15 lakh property owners pay taxes. The BBMP should deal with this issue stringently. Also, most of money collected from wards is not being used for development work. At least 50 per cent of such funds should be used to take up projects for development of respective wards, Pai suggested.

Environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy said piles of garbage, especially medical waste, could be found everywhere in the City. He said garbage and drainage maintenance was absent in the City.

The corporators and officials should regulate the dumping of waste. There is neither any account of garbage disposal by 8,000 unlicensed healthcare centres, he said.

Easy permit

Reddy pointed that the City was witnessing mindless development and there was no comprehensive urban plan or policy in place or a body to regulate the growth. “Permissions for construction are being given easily, without ascertaining the water sources. Any new project would prove detrimental to City’s environment.

The lung space is being reduced and sites earmarked for parks and green spaces are being lost. The budget should therefore not promise any new project, but focus on maintaining whatever is there and what remains,” he said.

Prof T G Sitharam, chairperson of the Centre for Infrastructure and Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning, pointed out that the City lacks proper pedestrian mobility facilities and junctions. Instead of focussing on vehicle mobility, the Palike should emphasise on improving footpaths and pedestrian spaces.

“The available junctions do not have proper lighting and signages. These basic amenities need to be improved. The City also lacks parking spaces. This is a long-pending demand which needs to be addressed,” he listed out.

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