Are ward committee meetings improving governance in Bengaluru?

Bengaluru's ward committee meetings are almost ineffective now due to low attendance, corporators refusing to share data, and so on. But there's a lot citizens can do to turn this around

A year after ward committee meetings began in Bengaluru, we look at how effective they have been. A recent study by Sensing Local Foundation reveals that many wards have not had these monthly meetings at all.

In the seven months between December 2018 and June 2019, each of the 198 BBMP wards should have held seven ward committee meetings. But 52 wards had no meetings at all, and only 12 percent of the wards conducted at least five meetings.

While the meetings are supposed to discuss new projects, budget allocation etc for the ward, they are functioning more like grievance redressal platforms, the study finds. Reasons for this include the lack of a set agenda for meetings, corporators refusing to share data, and so on.

Corporators weren’t present at all in many meetings, though they are supposed to chair these. The report finds that only about 60 percent of the meetings were chaired by corporators or their proxies.

In this scenario, what can you do to get ward committees to work effectively?

Read more:

[Corrigendum: In the video, it’s mistakenly mentioned that 60 percent of the ward committee meetings were chaired by corporators, and the rest by their proxies. It should be “60 percent of the meetings were chaired by corporators or their proxies, and the rest were often anchored by the ward committee members or secretary”. We regret the error.]

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