State vs BBMP: Post-poll, will development works be hit?

Now citizens feel that developmental works may be hit

Bengaluru: A day after the BBMP elections, the results were announced and the BJP emerged as the single largest party. Now citizens feel that developmental works may be hit. They fear that with the state government ruled by Congress and BJP in power in BBMP, this may hit the policy- making initiatives and long-term projects and financial aid.

According to Mr. Nitish Govardhan, a Chartered Accountant, even though Bengaluru has an autonomous urban local body in the form of BBMP, it is not fully independent. "BBMP has to depend upon the Urban Development Department for all its funds. Its exchequer is empty. I feel the state government will definitely play hard ball while releasing funds. This will indirectly affect the city residents," he said.

"The best way to minimize this is by making the BBMP financially independent, plugging the leaks and effective implementation of the projects. BJP must rectify its old mistakes and ensure that it will not depend too much upon the state government," he said.

A newly-elected Congress corporator from West Bengaluru echoed similar apprehensions. "The common feeling is that if central and state governments were ruled by two different political parties, the state suffers because the central government always shows rigidity in releasing the central grants. Now it is clear that BJP corporators will get both the mayor and deputy mayor’s posts. So it is not easy for both of them to convince the state government to release funds. If the Congress had won the election it could have utilized the party networks to ensure more funds," he informed.

According to Prof. GK Karanth, an academician and independent researcher, Chief Minister Mr. S Siddaramaih should not indulge in any party politics. "Better management of Bengaluru city will help the CM to boost his image and win the hearts of voters from across the state in the next assembly election. Bengaluru is housing people from across the state. So, a better Bengaluru will bring good name to the state government," he said.

Congress failed to trumpet success

It’s not that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah didn’t do anything for Bengaluru. Be it pushing for elevated road to the airport, the opening of Cubbon Road, the TenderSure project or partial opening of Metro Rail reaches on three routes, the credit must go to him. After two years in power, the Congress government had just started earning a good reputation for itself, when the elections were announced. The time was too short for Congress leaders to reach out to the people and publicise the welfare programmes and development projects in the city, felt experts.

A well-known urban expert said, “The Congress government has taken up the initiative to build around 8-9 garbage processing centres in the city to handle 18,000 tonnes of city waste. These projects are just about to start functioning. The government had made the infrastructure investment and prepared the ground for the projects. I feel that these efforts should have been taken up soon after Mr Siddaramaih was sworn in as chief minister. By now, these projects would have seen the light of day and Bengalureans would have been convinced.”

He said, “The problem is that these initiatives remained only as announcements, and were not visible enough. In reality, these things take time especially when the government is involved. They need at least 6-8 months to roll out. The government did not have the luxury of time as the countdown for the BBMP election had begun. The good work done in solid waste management and road development was not sufficiently highlighted. The Congress government did not highlight the fact that the garbage menace was the creation of the BJP.”

Prof. Rajeev Gowda, who is a Congress leader, said, “Unfortunately too much confusion prevented us from speeding up the campaign. The continuous postponement of election dates was a huge blow. When it was announced, the party did not have time to communicate its development activities to the people.”Arvind Keerti from Whitefield Rising said, “I think the elections are too complex to be predicted by a just a few things. The chief minister has proposed a good elevated road to airport, but people are yet to see the benefits. Here, we have local issues like garbage, uncoordinated public works and others. Even if you set up an elevated road to airport, getting to that that express highway is our problem because the roads are really choked.”

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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