Governance

The handover process with all its financial, operational and technical aspects can be hard to nail down. Yet, it is the most pressing challenge as an association prepares to run the affairs of a community. Issues like late handover and defects within the apartment are common complaints of most individual apartment owners taking possession of their new property. At an association level, however, issues are even more complex and often ignored. The issues range from major defects, incomplete construction, lack of documentation, improper handover of maintenance corpus etc. In a new apartment, a freshly constituted Association’s Managing Committees (MC) may…

Read more

B Vimala, the councillor of Ward 41, part of the RK Nagar assembly constituency, sits in a modest office above the ward's Amma Unavagam, just off a busy street, a hub of activity. On the wall behind her hangs a picture of veteran Communist leader N Sankaraiah. A member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI (M)), this is 30-year-old Vimala's first term as a councillor. Vimala has been with the CPI(M) for the past ten years. Her political journey began as part of the youth wing of the party, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). She decided…

Read more

Ever since BBMP closed down its RTI (Right to Information) Cell five years back, it's been tougher for citizens to get information about BBMP's decisions and actions. For 11 years (2006 to 2017), the BBMP head office had a fairly active central RTI Cell that accepted all RTI requests. The applicant only had to address the request to the 'PIO (Public Information Officer), BBMP', and the PIO in charge of the RTI Cell would forward the request to the concerned officer. Since the closure of the Cell in 2017, citizens have to identify the specific PIO in charge of the…

Read more

If one were to compare the national economy to the human body, highways can be considered the arteries. Like clogged arteries which can be life-threatening, poor roads can derail economic growth. Planning and execution of highway projects have several other implications related to safeguarding the interest of the consumer, environmental impact, prudent contract management etc. One way to be aware of issues of impropriety and poor performance in local government bodies and departments is to track the audit reports from agencies like the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). This article is the sixth in the Series: Understanding Public…

Read more

“Thamizhaga arase Thamizhaga arase, saga venduma nangal? Appo than paarpaya?” (Will the government of Tamil Nadu pay attention to our plight only when we die?) This was the chorus of around 1,500 temporary workers of Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) that echoed at the entrance of the Board’s office for ten continuous days. The reason for the protest was the decision to outsource manpower through private contractors and overlook the demands of temporary workers engaged by the CMWSSB. Even as Chennai has grown in the past few decades, the sanctioned posts in many key departments remain vacant or have…

Read more

This monsoon, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to help Mumbaikars brace themselves for days of heavy rain through a disaster management app. Accurate information and warnings are of utmost importance at such times, as they can help people make better decisions about their safety. The mobile application Disaster Management BMC, available on both iOS and Android, will be relaunched to keep citizens informed about the state of monsoon. It was first launched in 2016 but failed to reach the masses. Through this app, areas likely to be waterlogged will be flagged anywhere between six to 72 hours in advance,…

Read more

My mother passed away on May 31st. It was all very sudden. She had been in the hospital for a week and passed away peacefully on the day she was supposed to get discharged. Though the last week of her life was spent in the hospital, it was spent with her loved ones and she truly appreciated the care and support she received from the hospital staff. Our mother’s passing is an irreplaceable loss for all of us in her immediate family and extended circle of family and friends whose lives she touched with her warmth and infectious laughter. But…

Read more

The contest for control of the Bengaluru municipal council promises at least some surprises. Like first-time contestants Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bengaluru Navanirmana Party (BNP) - formed in 2019 as a party exclusively for Bengaluru city - both hoping to make to make a mark, if not cause any major upsets. AAP is harbouring ambitions of a larger state presence if the BBMP election campaign proves encouraging. The three other contestants, the BJP, Congress and JD(S) are banking on the past record of work they have done for the city. The latter two have only their State leaders to…

Read more

One way to be aware of issues of impropriety and poor performance in local government bodies and departments is to track the audit reports from agencies like the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). This article is the fifth in the Series: Understanding Public Project Audits, by experts from Indian Accounts and Audit Service. Long lines of migrant workers, many of them from the construction sector, on the highways and outside railway stations during the COVID- 19 lockdown are not so distant and unpleasant memories for most of us. This vulnerable section of the population was literally trapped between…

Read more

Trust deficit between developers and home buyers has been a pressing concern in most cities. Also, there have been several instances of failure to deliver on promises made to home buyers or excessive delays. This resulted in a demand for legislation to protect the interests of the buyer. Thus, to create a single sectoral regulator to regulate the real estate sector, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), 2016 was passed by the Indian parliament on 1 May 2016, notifying 56 sections of the Act. However, effective implementation of RERA began only in 2017, with the remaining 32 sections…

Read more