Governance

BBMP has spent over 100 crores on fixing, remodelling, and maintaining drains in just one ward – HSR Layout. Their Stormwater Drain Department does not maintain records like work registers or the progress reports of works. BBMP has been indicted for ineffective and inefficient collection of waste, non-compliance with waste management rules, and lack of scientific processing facilities at landfill sites. These are just three instances of impropriety and poor performance in local government bodies. All these are issues that citizens should demand accountability from their elected reps and officials. One easy way to be aware of such issues is…

Read more

Resettlement sites where those evicted from across Chennai are moved to are known to be constructed in poorly connected areas, with a lack of people-centric infrastructure, often neglected by the state. But another oft neglected complication that arises as a result of the resettlement is that many stop receiving their pension once they move to their new homes. The reason cited by local officials is that since residents' addresses change to another district, in this case from Chennai to Chengalpattu district, they would have to file a new application to receive pension. This results in a long drawn out process…

Read more

Congestion and pollution in Mumbai is an ever-increasing, annual problem. By 2030, transport emissions will replace industrial fumes to become the biggest contributor to air pollution in Mumbai. One wonders, then, why the demand for a livelihood in what is now arguably a difficult city to live in, is still so high. Why do citizens put up with slow development and still pay the highest taxes? Metro work seems to have slowed down, while other bridges and coastal roads continue to be prioritised. Potholes, illegal parking and unattended vehicles obstructing pathways are ignored in many parts of town. As Mumbai…

Read more

Municipal councillors in Mumbai are elected officials for a city’s municipal corporation. They play a critical role in the development and functioning of the city as the primary facilitator between citizens and the state government.   What does a councillor do within their constituency? Councillors in Mumbai execute various developmental procedures in their constituency through the Rs 1.5 crore per annum of local area development fund granted to their local ward by the Brihanmumbai Mumbai Corporation (BMC). A further Rs 60 lakhs of discretionary funds are allocated to every councillor to be spent on their constituency for work they deem as…

Read more

Whoever forms the new Uttarakhand government in March will have several important urban issues to deal with. The first part of this article had given 10 specific suggestions for the new government to consider in its efforts to make urban development in the state sustainable and inclusive. In this second part, we again take a look at 10 data-driven competitions of the central government, which explicitly expose the poor performance of Dehradun and the state’s urban frameworks. Swachh Survekshan 2021 This was the world’s largest sanitation survey which covered 4320 cities across India. The results, announced in November 2021, saw Indore…

Read more

Will well-intentioned idealism end what has been a relatively golden period for Bengaluru's lakes? The rapid unplanned "development" on the then outskirts of the city in the early 2000s was destroying water bodies that had existed for hundreds of years. But thanks to a reasonably good partnership between Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and different citizen-led groups, the last 10 years saw the revival of many of Bengaluru's lakes. Citizen participation in lake maintenance In the summer of 2011, BBMP, the custodian of most of Bengaluru's lakes, decided to hand over maintenance of 13 lakes to non-governmental entities through Memorandums…

Read more

Citizen activism and public pressure forced BBMP, Bengaluru's city government to start convening ward committee meetings in 2018. Citizens and officials have since been making efforts to keep the committees functional and effective. But issues like representation and ensuring regular and effective ward committee meetings need urgent attention. There is the additional issue of the absence of elected municipal corporators since September 2020, since they have to chair their respective ward committees Ward committees are presently functioning informally. Srinivas Alavilli, Head - Civic Participation, Janaagraha, says a system has been put in place for the proper functioning of ward committees.…

Read more

Urban planning experts and allied interests have for long grappled with exactly how much open space Mumbai needs, and what more can be done to improve Mumbai’s natural environment. Given the likely impacts of climate change, especially in the context of the latest IPCC report warning the city of climate change catastrophes, urban planning in Mumbai appears to have reached a critical point of inquiry.  Extensive research already outlines Mumbai’s open space deficit as an outcome of administrative disputes, land availability, acquisition financing, lack of holistic policy implementation, and other reasons across social, economic and environmental aspects. While the search…

Read more

BBMP has spent over 100 crores on fixing, remodelling, and maintaining drains in just one ward - HSR Layout. Their Stormwater Drain Department does not maintain records like work registers or the progress reports of works. BBMP has been indicted for ineffective and inefficient collection of waste, non-compliance with waste management rules, and lack of scientific processing facilities at landfill sites. These are just three instances of impropriety and poor performance in local government bodies.All these are issues that citizens should demand accountability from their elected reps and officials. One easy way to be aware of such issues is to…

Read more

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) with 20 other corporations recently saw the conduct of municipal elections after a gap of 6 years. Since India advocates the theory of “Democracy at the grassroots level”, city governments play an important role in the governance structure. They are directly related to the daily life of the citizens.  The 12th Schedule of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA), 1992 recognises the Indian Government Structure in 3 tiers: central, state and local. The 74th CAA devolves powers and functions to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). This is done to enable them to function as the third…

Read more