Ward Committees: An Imperative Step Towards Grassroots Democracy

Ward committees were constituted by the BBMP a year ago, after much struggle by citizens. But the committees, most of which are packed with the kith and kin of corporators, have remained namesake. Yet, a small step has been taken with the first monthly meetings in December.

A citizen's campaign is now on to make these ward panels truly representative of the city's residents, and make them work for grassroots democracy. The first step towards this is to ensure that the ward committees meet regularly and discuss issues at the micro local level.

Ward committees are a critical need because in a city with a population of 1.3 crores, it is nearly impossible for any individual, however powerful, to fix things without enlightened, responsible citizen representatives.

There is a far better chance of success when problems are highlighted and resolved locally, not in Vidhana Soudha, but at the local BBMP ward office. There is one for each of the 198 wards. Ward Committee meetings offer an unprecedented opportunity as the topics of discussions are related to matters close to the ward.

Taking this forward, citizen groups now want the ward panels to have a say in how the BBMP budget for 2019-20 is prepared. Thus far, only corporators were the sole decision-makers. Now, with the ward committee meetings every month, the groups want every panel to draft work proposals for their wards.

To discuss, learn about and interact with BBMP officials, experts and citizen activists on all matters related to the ward committees, Deccan Herald has arranged an interactive event at Hotel Chancery on Saturday, February 16.

Speakers: 

Gangambike Mallikarjuna (Bengaluru City Mayor)

Manjunath Prasad (Commissioner, BBMP)

Padmanabha Reddy (Leader of Opposition, BBMP)

Srinivas Alavilli (Co-founder, Citizens for Bengaluru)

Venue: The Chancery Pavilion, Residency Road
Date: Feb 16
Time: 5 PM to 6:30 PM
High-tea: 4:30 PM

Registration: Online registration is mandatory for attendees. Sign up by completing the form below.
If available, a limited number of seats may be offered for on-site registration at 4:30 P.M.