Citizens stress upon need to train stakeholders It was meant to be the first ward committee meeting, months after the exercise kicked off in other parts of the city. But as hundreds of people from Horamavu and Ramamurthynagar wards turned up, chaos reigned.
Residents alleged that Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials and the councillor ‘left in a huff’, after which they had a meeting with the Joint Commissioner (JC) of the Mahadevapura zone to elicit a timeline and an action plan.
“We agreed that the meetings would be held on the first and third Saturdays and second and fourth Fridays. We would like to know what are the terms of engagement and plan of action,” said Varkey Thomas from Prakruthi Township, Horamavu Agara.
Mr. Thomas said as it was the first meeting, residents of two wards turned up. Approximately 500 people attended, which led to confusion as not everyone’s questions were answered or problems addressed.
“Two weeks ago, Babusapalya residents had held a protest for the same issues. In addition, running up to the first ward committee meeting, we had channelised a people’s movement on social media and connected with resident welfare associations, housing societies, etc.,” said Mr. Thomas.
When contacted, Horamavu councillor Radhamma Venkatesh’s husband, Venkatesh, said that so many people had gathered as they had been affected by BWSSB works in the area. But he maintained that the meeting was a success. “The work has been going on nearly for a year. People are inconvenienced. So they protested outside. As the JC and other BBMP engineers were also present, we could pass a resolution of the meeting which will be taken up in the council as well,” he said.
Srinivas Alavilli from Citizens for Bengaluru, which recently awarded to councillors who were diligently holding ward committee meetings, said training stakeholders in how to hold these meetings was a long pending demand with the BBMP.
BBMP plans to train officials in the conduct of the meeting. “The civic body will b partake in the meetings and will also enlighten citizens about their rights,” said Randeep D., special commissioner, BBMP.