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Consider area size, population while carving Mahadevapura wards, says citizens group

Civic activists from Bengaluru East’s IT corridors have urged officials not to repeat the mistakes of previous delimitation exercises while carving out new wards in Mahadevapura constituency.

Their plea comes days after the government formed the delimitation commission.

The Whitefield Rising Trust noted that the delimitation process in 2009 did not consider the area limits, leading to outsized wards too unwieldy for governance. A spike in population over the last decade has only compounded the issue, it pointed out.

Wards in Mahadevapura zone such as Varthur and Bellandur are bigger than 20 square kilometres, which means government resources are seriously deficient in providing citizen services.

Whitefield Rising’s Anjali Saini said that all the eight Mahadevapura wards are larger than 10 sq km, a serious violation of Article 74 of the Constitution concerning population and area coverage.

“We filed an objection with the Urban Development Department, BBMP Commissioner and the state government a year ago, arguing that delimitation of wards based on the 2011 census makes no sense,” Anjali said.

“The 74th Constitutional amendment is followed in breach. Local governance is weak when the area of a ward is in double digits.”

No public consultation

Despite the committee’s proposal to do a population count, authorities concerned have remained unresponsive, Anjali said.

“No proper public consultation has been held,” she noted. “We feel Mahadevapura should have at least 20-24 wards based on the population that crossed 6-7 lakh, calculated considering the previous decade’s growth rate of 140%.”

The latest population figures are vital to derive benefit from the government’s decision to cap population per ward to 35,000.

Activists are also concerned about the disproportionate fund allocation as 59 wards just one sq-km in size in other zones and the two giant Mahadevapura wards of Varthur and Bellandur are the same.

To put things in perspective, Varthur sprawls over an area of 28.3 sq km, while Bellandur is spread over 26.4 sq km. “How can the money for development for a one-sq km ward and the bigger one be the same?” Anjali asked.

“One ward in our zone, Hoodi, is haphazardly distributed. The delimitation commission has to solve Hoodi’s problem of being scattered into four non-contiguous parts. The issues must be clarified,” she further said.

The existing BBMP area must be divided into 400 wards for effective local governance, the citizen group said.

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