RWAs want hearings on public projects before implementation

Consortium of residents' welfare associations launches a signature campaign

RWAs want hearings on public projects before implementation

 Residents’ Welfare Associations across the City on Sunday launched a signature campaign under the banner of Namma Bengaluru Foundation and Bangalore’s Residents’ Associations’ Confederation Ensemble (BRACE) demanding open hearings for all public projects in the City. 

The campaign will go on till March 30, following which the RWAs will submit petitions to MLAs and the chief minister. 

“Public hearing should be made a mandatory process, wherein suggestions and objections can be sought from the public for projects in the City. We must be given 30 days time to file our objections. This should then be placed before an expert committee which will recommend a reworked draft to the organisation in charge of implementation. Suggestions and objections not incorporated in the draft must be put up in the public domain,” said N S Mukunda, member of BRACE, which is a consortium of over 750 RWAs.A number of RWA representatives who had gathered at the event cited myriad examples of stark disregard shown to public by civic bodies. Nitin Seshadri, who was representing residents of Koramangala, recounted how a few years back, they suddenly woke to an underpass work in their locality that had begun without any warning. 

“There were bulldozers everywhere and we did not know what was going on. It was only later that we found out about the plan of building an underpass at the Sirsi-Agara Corridor to ease traffic congestion. However, the plan was totally unscientific as traffic could have been eased by finding solutions to problems existing on Hosur Road,” said Nitin.

Not only were these residents successful in getting the authorities to abandon the project, but their solution was also recognised by the Centre when for another project in the City under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban renewal Mission (JnNURM).

Dr Radhakrishna, another RWA member, spoke about the growing commercialisation of residential areas and reminded residents about  various rules, regulations and governing activities in such areas. 

Lauding the efforts of such enlightened citizens, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Member of Parliament said that while “attorneys for people” like him can take up the issue at the government level, it is the people who need to follow it up. 

“I have noticed that many people who raise an issue do not follow it up. I can only be a partner in solving the issue. Citizens must participate in all development plans in their neighbourhood. There is a need for partnership between RWAs, politicians and other stakeholders,” he said.

Renowned poet G S Siddalingaiah and freedom fighter H S Doreswamy, who also spoke on the occasion, criticised corruption in the corridors of power and asked people to work against it. 

Those interested in signing petitions for the signature campaign can do so on www.namma-bengaluru.org or call 4110 2457. 

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