Next Palike budget to factor in citizens' wants

Next Palike budget to factor in citizens' wants

Booklet of people's wishlist submitted to mayor

Next Palike budget to factor in citizens' wants

Bengalureans will have a say in how the next BBMP budget should be prepared and how much money should be allocated under various heads.

On Wednesday, over 67,114 inputs collected from about 40,000 citizens were handed over to Mayor G Padmavathi and commissioner N Manjunath Prasad. It was part of the first-ever ‘My City My Budget’ campaign, which was launched by citizens’ collective Janaagraha in partnership with BBMP. Citizens were given an option to choose from 11 categories and 80 sub-categories. The inputs were collected both in Kannada and English.

A booklet containing the inputs was submitted at a function held at Town Hall, which was also attended by BMTC managing director Ekroop Caur and six corporators. Collecting inputs from citizens was a two-month-long intensive campaign.

“Citizens have highlighted footpath and walkability as key areas of concern. These constituted 23% of the total budget inputs. Inputs linked to road and driveability came next at 18%, health and sanitation inputs made up 15%, while inputs about trees, parks and playgrounds comprised 12%,” Sapna Karim, head-civic participation, Janaagraha, said.

Crime prevention and safety were also issues of concern for citizens. Close to 5,000 inputs related to surveillance cameras.

“There were a total of 67,114 inputs from the citizens. BBMP tops the list with 51,004 budget inputs, followed by Bangalore city police with 4,791 and the BWSSB with 4,506 inputs,” a press release said.

Inputs gathered
The campaign, according to the release, gathered inputs from school and college students, residents’ welfare associations, trade unions, urban poor communities, citizens at IT parks and the digitally active community.

“The budget bus travelled 1,560-km in Bengaluru, touching 212 locations over 51 days,” it said. “So what is next?” Sapna said the BBMP budget would now be analysed to understand the budgetary allocations towards citizen inputs and other budgetary allocations to the wards. “The status of each citizen input will be tracked by organising ward sabhas with citizens, councillors and civic agency officials,” she said.

The commissioner and mayor promised to incorporate these suggestions in the budget. “The city received Rs 9,000 crore to undertake projects. Of this, Rs 4,500 crore came from the state government and the remaining amount is raised through tax,” said commissioner Prasad. BMTC MD Ekroop Caur urged the BBMP to provide monetary support from the Palike towards procuring new buses. The present fleet of 6,000 buses was not adequate for Bengaluru, she said.