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BBMP's citizen volunteer initiative gets fresh impetus as numbers fall short 

Initially anticipating 10 volunteers for each of the 202 lakes and 1,251 neighborhood parks, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) 'Kere Mithra' and 'Hasiru Mithra' initiatives, a brainchild of Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, have faced a lacklustre response.
Last Updated : 22 November 2023, 21:35 IST
Last Updated : 22 November 2023, 21:35 IST

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With only 1,166 citizens stepping up to supervise the upkeep of the city's lakes and parks, the BBMP is set to launch a new enrollment opportunity.

Initially anticipating 10 volunteers for each of the 202 lakes and 1,251 neighborhood parks, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) 'Kere Mithra' and 'Hasiru Mithra' initiatives, a brainchild of Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, have faced a lacklustre response.

To boost participation, it is crucial that the BBMP offers both online and offline registration options. Allowing citizens to register on-site at lakes and parks, along with circulating Google forms via WhatsApp, could significantly improve response rates, many say.

Initially launched in October this year, citizens were limited to registering on the BBMP's official website. Of the 512 volunteers, some opted for lake supervision, while 654 chose to oversee public parks. Many of them reported not receiving any acknowledgment from the BBMP.

For the fiscal year 2023-24, the BBMP allocated Rs 35 crore for maintaining 174 lakes and Rs 15 crore for 1,240 parks. Volunteers are likely to play a role in monitoring how these funds are utilised, covering tasks such as pathway sweeping, bund slope cleaning, water body de-weeding, daily park sweeping, shrub pruning, watering, and borewell maintenance.

V Ramaprasad, co-founder of volunteer group Friends of Lakes, commended the initiatives since it is in line with the centre’s idea of encouraging citizen participation in public works, suggesting that the BBMP must translate these ideas into effective actions.

He suggested providing citizens with multiple options for enrolment in volunteering beyond the BBMP website.

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Published 22 November 2023, 21:35 IST

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