For the residents of Silicon City, though there was nothing extraordinary in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)’s offing in 2018, the year witnessed a couple of welcome surprises by the high court’s intervention in some of the civic issues, restoring their hopes for a better city.
One of the remarkable highlights of 2018 was the blanket ban on illegal flex and banners put up across the city.
The residents welcomed the high court’s order to rid the city of all flexes and banners. As a further move, the Palike even drafted ‘BBMP Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Bylaws 2018’, which is pending before the government for ratification.
Even as advertising agencies and flex printing agencies opposed the move raising concern over their livelihood, the civic body received more than 1,000 suggestions and objections from the public and is in the process of reviewing it.
The Palike also plans LED displays for movie advertisements instead of posters.
Sanitation workers’ stir
Yet again, the woes of civic workers over non-payment of salaries sparked multiple protests in 2018.
July witnessed the suicide of a civic worker over non-payment of wages. T Subramani, a 40-year-old worker, had not received the salary for more than four months and committed suicide. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Garbage black spots
This year, the civic body took up another mammoth task of freeing the city of garbage black spots. It cleared the waste and drew rangolis in order to stop people from throwing waste in the same spot. The Ugly Indian, an NGO that helps in the beautification of public spaces, helped Palike to clear many blackspots and convert ugly flyovers into beautiful pieces of art. One such recent example was the restoration of Cubbon Road.
Interestingly, the government transferred Randeep D, additional commissioner (admin), the man behind many strategical changes in the civic body in solid waste management cell. However, it was people’s pressure that retained him in the department.
Flexes and banners
As the Swachh Survekshan survey for 2019 has begun, the civic body is banking on visual aesthetics. As the city is free of flex and banners, this is one of the areas that the civic body is planning to score points. It is also planning social media campaigns to create awareness about the various initiatives it has taken.
Rain or shine, nothing excites the commuters of Bengaluru than a less-congested commute and asphalted roads. Although 2018 was no different for them, the BBMP’s answer to pothole-free roads — white-topping — has slowly gained pace across the city, with the recent traffic clearance that it has obtained from the Bangalore Traffic Police.
The work is in progress in places such as Jayanagar 7th Block, Koramangala, Basavanagudi and so on and the civic body has set 2019 as a deadline to complete the project.
The high court had issued multiple directions to the BBMP to fix potholes. However, the civic body missed them several times. The high court set Christmas as the latest deadline.