Now, it's time for action

Now, it's time for action
Ahead of the BBMP elections, Deccan Herald launched the ‘Citizens for Change’ initiative to provide people a platform to raise their problems and get a signed undertaking from the candidates that key civic issues related to their wards would be resolved within a timeframe.

Several Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) obtained such undertakings from the candidates from their respective wards. The City has got 198 new corporators and the time for change has come. The new corporators, who as candidates had given written assurances on resolving the issues listed by the RWAs, have already begun meeting residents as early as 6 am at parks and houses. This seems like a good portent and has given hope to residents that positive work on vital issues would be undertaken.

Good beginning

Residents have been surprised by the first impressions generated by the corporators.
When Deccan Herald spoke to the corporators who had signed the undertaking, on how they would resolve the issues listed by the residents, a common strategy to address people’s grievances could be discerned. Their first strategy is to hold regular and frequent meetings with residents and RWAs, in which both take the initiative to meet each other; the second strategy is to have meetings with local MLAs to sort out possible differences over implementation of projects and to make best use of the MLA funds for the development of the ward. The third is to raise the ward issues in the BBMP Council meetings.

K S Shilpa (Congress), who won from the New Thippasandra ward in C V Raman Nagar, says garbage clearance is the main problem in her ward. “Our first action will be to get garbage lifted at various points, including the one at Cambridge School, which was mentioned by the RWA. In fact, we started off with garbage clearance work at 6 am just two days after the results were out. Desilting, replacement of old BWSSB lines, underground drainage clean-up and hawkers occupying the roads are all issues we will address. Our intention is to foster a long-term relationship with the residents. So, we have decided to hold meetings at least once a month with the residents to take their suggestions. We will take up the most important issues first and go to the rest later.”

Shilpa says she won’t be making any false promises to residents and instead will tell them what is practical and doable.

P Anand (Congress), who will represent the HBR Layout ward, says his constituents have been very quick in reaching him. “Already, I have received 45 complaints from residents to solve the problem of poor streetlights. This is a serious issue. We took up the work immediately and got the authorities to ensure brighter streetlights. We also had to change some electricity poles and I have requested the officials concerned to take up the issue forthwith. Then there is the asphalting of the first main road, garbage points in vacant sites, pollution caused by a factory, all of which we will take up step by step.”

In the last two days, says Anand, his people have been working day and night and that he has already got a taste of what it is to be a corporator and work at the local level. “I plan to hold meetings with residents once in two months because we need that time to show people what work has been done. We will also take stock of the MLA fund to see how much of it has been spent. There are also special grants within that fund and we will certainly request the MLA to use it for the ward.”

The A Narayanpura ward in KR Puram has varied problems. Bad roads, drainage and garbage to water leakages in the Cauvery water supply system, low power voltage because of weak transformer, absence of signboards indicating layout names and lack of regular police patrolling during night hours are the major ones, says new corporator Suresh V (Congress). “We will take these up on priority and any other issue that the residents bring to our notice. We will finish quick and easy issues first and then focus on the tougher problems. Police patrol is an important issue. The people have asked us to post constables in desolate areas. We will have policemen posted there and get them to make some more streets part of their beat,” says Suresh.

Top priorities

The priorities in Kempegowda ward in Yelahanka are garbage and drainage and the lack of public toilets. Then there are BWSSB drainage and sewage lines which are very old and leaking. Parks also need a facelift because they stink and water shortage too needs to be addressed. More importantly, there is an urgent need for fogging given the rapid spread of chikungunya. “Within a couple of weeks, we will hold a meeting with the residents to understand their requirements. We will also meet the MLA to understand what have been the issues so far in the ward. We, however, have to keep in mind the jurisdiction - the limits of both the corporator and legislator and therefore any work which has to be undertaken will have to factor in the MLA,” says Chandramma (BJP), the new corporator of the ward.

For second-time corporator Dr Raju (BJP), a surgeon, the top priority in his Attiguppe ward is to resolve the garbage menace, sewage and drainage problems. People have also pointed to drunk-driving, open toilets, urination in public spaces and a bar in front of a church which is causing a problem. “In the last three days, I have been able to meet residents on early morning walks at parks. I have almost had 10 small meetings with different people each time and I plan to go to people’s houses and meet them to get a firsthand feel of the problems,” he says.

Nearly 17 parks need some upgrading, and the corporator says he will be taking action to improve them at the earliest.

Bharathinagar corporator Shakeel Ahmed (Congress) says he is waiting for his office to be ready. “It will be ready within a week. I will start with the issues of potholes first. We also have to replace some old sanitary pipelines. I am going door to door, interacting with people in the ward. Garbage issue needs to be solved. I will look into it as soon as possible.”

Regular garbage collection is the major issue at Kacharkanahalli from where Padmanabha Reddy (BJP) has won for a record fourth time. He is already interacting with residents and has been proactive.

“I have been elected for the fourth consecutive time. I make it a point to go around the ward every morning. I cover half the distance by walk and the rest I go around in my vehicle. I will focus on the issue of regular garbage collection.”

While the people have demanded public toilets, Reddy felt it would be tricky as there is lack of space. “There are public toilets in the slum in the locality. However, to build it elsewhere in the ward, there is a space constraint.”


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