Civic

Find in-depth articles on common issues affecting daily life in our cities, and related to community responses and action around these issues. The articles provide insights into the complexities of managing and improving urban livability and citizen engagement.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike's fiasco at the JP Nagar 24th Main Road/15th Cross Ring Road intersection (underpass) is well known to south Bangalore residents in that area. A contractor had outsourced the work to another incompetent contractor who was later replaced by the BBMP. The project is months behind schedule and shows no sign of completion, with heaps of mud, broken dividers with mud all over and the main road dug up. 15th cross-ring road intersection dug up (Pic: Supriya Khandekar) In 2006, despite a clear warning from its own chief auditor on tendering, the BBMP violated the process…

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Yesterday, hundreds of concerned citizens turned up at the spot where BMRCL proposes to have a Metro station inside Lalbagh itself...and had broken down a part of the Lalbagh wall, and felled several eucalyptus trees. They have not yet received permission to do this, so it was illegal, and citizens also reacted emotionally to their greenery being despoiled in this way.Here's the portion of the wall that was broken down:Several police officers were on duty, and they had the unenviable task of keeping the peace while not antagonizing the citizens. Mr Dawood Khan kept a low profile throughout, though he…

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CIVIC, an NGO working for participative democracy, in conjunction with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), conducted a pilot study on slum and urban homelessness in Bengaluru and an event was organized at Institute of Agricultural Technologists, Queens Cross Road on 28th February, 2009 to release the report and highlight some of the findings. BBMP had commissioned the study to understand the effectiveness of the services they provide to urban poor in the city. The study itself was conducted over two months in 19 habitations, through Focus Group Discussions and the use of secondary data. Some of the findings highlighted at…

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As one of the most well planned residential areas of Bengaluru, Jayanagar has been touted as a haven for the business class and the retired crowd. Home to prominent names like Infosys co-founder, N R Narayana Murthy, actor Vishnuvardhan and writer Shashi Deshpande, this hub in the southern part of the city has wide roads, tree lined avenues and excellent public transport. But problems like garbage, parking and sewerage have not only got residents fighting for a better Jayanagar, it has also united the various residents' associations. Jayanagar 4th Block Complex Twelve Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) came together in July…

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Defence Colony, Indiranagar of the 90's was famous for its large number of "Beware of Dog" signs. Each house had a retired defence force personnel, and apparently, a dog. Some signs were more affectionate. "Watch out for my darlings". I grew up cycling those streets and a lot has changed since then. No more do you see afternoon tea breaks on the lawn or friendly open streets that just invited the daring cyclist to go 'hands free' on steep slopes downhill. Defence Colony had a charm that emanated from its overflowing gardens. That was why it was a garden city.…

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Footpath Mel Hodrey….

I read this post...http://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/812-safer-footpathsDuring a walk from my home to IIM-Bangalore on Bannerghatta Road, a distance of about 2.5 kms, I met with the following obstacles:1.Open drains2.Missing granite slabs that would decant me instantly into the gutter beneath if I was not careful.3.Large piles of garbage stretching all the way to the road.4. Furniture and other wares set out by shopkeepers.5. Pushcarts parked randomly.6. Two-wheelers parked, and sometimes being driven, on the pavement.7. Transformers of BESCOM.8. Huge dug-up craters, sometimes with cables being laid, sometimes pipes, sometimes nothing that I could see to account for the digging.9. Families sitting and…

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I was walking past an unnamed bylane in my neighborhood, known to be rather dirty and untidy usually; I was pleasantly surprised to find this common and effective approach to prevent garbage dumping.Benson Town's Litter Free Lane (pic: Pushpa Achanta) Upon inquiry, I learnt that area residents and worshippers at a chapel nearby worked with the local ward councilor to implement it. I plan to observe how long it lasts and replicate it elsewhere!⊕

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As long as things go smoothly, our system works. But let there be a problem and one is up against the most people-unfriendly scenario possible.Our mobile bill (my mobile phone is an add-on to KM's) was vastly over what's normal, and we have given complaints twice, and both complaints have been registered on the Airtel site.Now every day, several times, honey-voiced "customer care executives" call up on either phone, asking why we have not paid the bill. Increasingly, we are irritated by having to repeat our complaint, which the Airtel people say is not showing up on their system, so…

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One of the things I feel very proud about as I travel by the buses of the BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) is the fact that many women conductors are now employed by the organization.I decided to watch, without any intervention, as one such young woman went about her job on the bus that I was travelling by.Here she is:She was quite diligent about asking passengers for their tickets or passes, and unlike some men conductors that I have (alas!) seen, she gave back the necessary change, too, all the time that I watched her.Apart from the regular duty, there…

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