Split city for effective, better administration
It may be time to trifurcate or split the BBMP into five zones for better administration. With the high court pulling up the BBMP for its lackadaisical response to public and civic issues, the solution could lie in carving up the city into pockets for more efficient administration, believe civic activists.
Solve Garbage problem
Thanks to the mismanagement of its garbage and the mafia that is involved in its disposal, Bengaluru has transformed from a Garden City to a Garbage City, a fact clearly reflected in its falling ranking in the Swacha Survekshan survey. In 2019 people want proper collection of segregated garbage and its scientific processing to reduce the burden on the landfills.
Curb commercialisation of residential areas
This is a monster of a problem that the BBMP has fed for years, ruining the peace of residential localities. Commercial units have been making their way into residential neighbourhoods as people rent out their basement parking facility or garages to shops, eateries or other businesses. BBMP commissioner, Manjunath Prasad has promised a crackdown on this practice and people want to see him keep his word.
There is growing demand for improving government- run and aided schools to ensure that children don’t lose out on their fundamental right to a proper education whatever their economic status. Instead of forcing people to opt for expensive private education, the quality of education in government schools must be improved to Kendriya Vidyalaya standards, say Bengalureans.
The authorities must complement the Metro Rail with monorail or an elevated rail system, which could act as feeder services, say transport experts. Monorail can penetrate areas that are not easily accessible and make the Metro a bigger success, they reason.
Care for health
It’s time to provide affordable healthcare, which has been ignored by successive governments, say healthcare experts. Pointing out that private healthcare is expensive and government healthcare unreliable, they lament that the people have few options when it comes to treatment currently.
Make roads pothole-free
Although they are killers on roads, potholes remain despite the BBMP’s claims of filling them. Pulled up by the high court, the civic agency woke up to the problem and claimed to have filled up 95 per cent of them recently. But crying foul at the poor quality of the work done , Bengalureans say they want to see pothole -filling that does not wear out in one spell of rain.
Aware of the dangers of haphazard parking on the streets, Bengalureans want a ban on parking at street corners or at the point where a road turns, besides a heavy penalty on those responsible for them. They also want the authorities to insist on parking space being provided by all buildings, whether commercial and residential. In addition, they want to see on- street parking either regulated or banned and more multi-level parking facilities.
It’s a common complaint in the city : Stretches of roads plunged into darkness as the streetlights don’t work. Ask experts and they say the civic body needs to tap solar energy and use garbage to generate the power it needs to operate them. Every streetlight must be fitted with timers to make sure the energy is not wasted during the day, they suggest.
The state government, which is sitting on reports of two joint House committees on encroachment of public property headed by MLA, A T Ramaswamy and a retired bureaucrat, V. Balasubramanian, needs to wake up and act on them in the new year.
End power outages
Bengalureans are accustomed to constant loadshedding and unpredictable power cuts, which are a bane not only for people in their homes but also industries. Exploring other alternatives like solar energy and curtailing the shortage in coal supply in the new year could help solve the problem, say experts.
Make metro safer and affordable
As the Metro Rail provides clean and rapid mass transportation, it should be extended across the length and breadth of the city and used to serve industrial areas, IT-BT hubs and passengers heading to or journeying from the airport. It should also be made more affordable to encourage people to use it.
never enough water
The encroachment of water bodies and buffer zones of lakes has been a major hurdle in solving the water issues of the city. The year ahead could be even more challenging as the new Karnataka Tank Conservation Development Authority (KTCDA) Act allows construction of roads on lake beds. Co-founder of Friends of Lakes, Ram Prasad says the Federation of Bangalore Lakes (FBL) with 93 lake groups as its members, intends to work hard to protect the water bodies under threat from this and other problems. The government needs to respond positively to the Million Recharge Wells campaign to solve the city’s water shortage problem, he underlines.
Do away with red-tapism
Fed up with red-tapism and corruption in government offices, people are looking for solutions like online and e-administration that will do away with the delays and free them from tediousness. It’s also time that institutions like the Lokayukta are better empowered to deal with corrupt officials.
Check air and noise pollution
Data collected by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board's (KSPCB) reflects the rising air and noise pollution in the city as a result of increasing traffic and construction activity. Besides banning the use of 15 year-old vehicles in the city, Bengalureans want to see bigger investment in public transport and more private cars off the roads in 2019.
Increase green cover
With the city losing its green cover at a rate of 20 per cent annually, experts and environmentalists believe the government should give up its policy of keeping the real estate lobby happy with its so-called development plans and involve more people in its decision making. They want the BBMP to stop concretising the ground around roots of trees while laying roads and stop the advertising mafia from pruning trees or destroying their roots with acid for better visibility of their hoardings....