This letter was sent by B.PAC to the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri K. Siddaramaiah on June 21st, 2014. This serves as a follow up on our several memoranda for the improvement of quality of life of citizens of Bangalore City.
Text of Critical Issues Plaguing Bangalore: B.PAC’s letter to the Karnataka CM
June 21, 2014 Shri. K. Siddaramaiah, Honble Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka, Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore 560001 Dear Shri. Siddaramaiah ji, Subject: Follow up on our several memoranda for the improvement of quality of life of citizens of Bangalore City We have been writing to you very regularly on various matters in Bangalore City that require urgent and immediate attention. While we commend the Government on some of the measures such as completion of the road to International airport, commencement of work under Tender Sure and keeping the city open till 1 am, there are several other representations made by us and agreed by you that are pending action. This is making the day to day life of Bangaloreans extremely difficult and challenging. Development of the citys infrastructure and attracting investment and jobs is central to Karnatakas economic future. As B.PAC has repeatedly emphasized earlier, there is a crying need for citizens, government, political leadership, civic bodies, other parastatal agencies and other stake holders to come together and address them on a war footing. Bangalore contributes a large share of taxes to the state Exchequer and unless we keep this momentum up by investing in the citys development, our rural areas and villages will suffer. With all the measures that B.PAC has been suggesting time and again, we have a unique opportunity to make Bangalore the best city in the country in all aspects Safety Index, Human Quality Index, Entrepreneurial activity, Investment Climate etc. Therefore, addressing the challenges of Bangalore is not to be seen as an elitist endeavor but to be viewed as a pillar of inclusive growth and an economic imperative for augmenting the States finances. Sir, we at B.PAC (Bangalore Political Action Committee), have met with you, the Minister for Bangalore, the Home Minister, the Chief Secretary, the Police Commissioner several times with suggestions on various matters. B.PAC (Bangalore Political Action Committee), a nonpartisan not for profit citizens group that aims at strengthening the democratic process through better governance and transparency and greater citizens engagement with the political leadership, requests your
immediate intervention in implementing strong and decisive measures to ensure Bangalore truly becomes a Global and Sustainable City through strong infrastructure that is inclusive in character and good governance that attracts investments and creates jobs. Our Agenda for Bangalore (AfB) to make Bangalore one of the best governed cities in the country and our initiatives should be a model for all other cities to emulate. A. URGENT CIVIC ISSUES - Upgrading and developing Bangalore City Monthly review of progress on 10 point program to resolve pressing civic issues in Bangalore city B.PAC vide its earlier letter dated 28th August, 2013 and its letter dated 20th September, 2013 has already submitted a request to your urgent attention to serious infrastructure bottlenecks in the city that are making life for the average citizen of Bangalore a nightmare. We have also earlier requested for a monthly review of all our requests herein for the next 12 months including a review of our previous proposal on 10 Point Program to Upgrade Bangalore City, which included proposals such as Walkers Bangalore, Garbage and Debris Free Bangalore, Sewage Free Lakes in Bangalore and Storm Water Drains, Pot Hole Free Bangalore and Safe Bangalore. This is to ensure progress on all matters is well on track and that appropriate and timely actions are taken. Our earlier letters on critical areas for immediate improvement of civic infrastructure is attached. 1. GARBAGE AND DEBRIS FREE BANGALORE The garbage crisis came to a head in August 2012 and a year and a half later we still find our city filthy with garbage dumps everywhere. Mandur has become a serious health hazard for citizens leading to public outrage and is fast developing into a political embarrassment. We must have a 90 day, time bound clean up drive across the city to get rid of garbage, construction debris and all other litter, supported by strong measures to keep the entire city clean on an ongoing basis, have helpline centers where citizens can call in case they see a garbage menace, insist on source segregation by all, institute strong enforcement measures and stiff penalties for those who litter or do not segregate waste, consistently reduce our landfill size. Metrics related to progress on waste management should be tracked and
released to citizens every quarter. We request time bound implementation of the Kasa Mukta program undertaken by BBMP and that the same be extended to all wards of the city. B.PAC is very keen to work with the government to find solutions for the ongoing garbage crisis. We offer the following suggestions. 1. Enforce waste segregation by all citizens and penalize citizens and take penal action against those who do not. Those who segregate their waste must be incentivized by not having to pay the waste management cess. This will bring the 4500 tonnes of garbage that the city generates and sends to the landfill down to 2500 tonnes. 2. Insist that existing apartment complexes also put organic convertors in situ within a time frame of 6 months. 3. Introduce a bill to regulate sending waste from one municipal area to another municipal area 4. All wards to have dry waste collection centers 5.All wards to have in situ organic waste composting centers 6. Empanelled vendors to process wet and dry waste. 7. B.PAC will take a pilot project in Madivala Market by installing the organic waste processing machine and operate it for one month on trial basis after which BBMP can procure the machine and run the processing center. 8. A group of 20 B.CLIP participants from batch 1 have completed their course work and have taken up Waste Management as their project in their respective wards. B.PAC offers to supplement the efforts of the BBMP and request government support to make these projects a success. Our objective is to reduce the waste going to the land fill and encourage insitu processing and reduce health hazard for all the residents close to the landfills.
We hope you will look at our suggestions positively and work with B.PAC to restore the past glory of this garden city which is now famous as a garbage city. 2. WALKER'S BANGALORE The footpaths in Bangalore are a nightmare and pose grave risk for young children and the elderly. They are often neither uniform nor continuous with several obstacles hindering accident free walking space for pedestrians. The height between the footpath and the road is often more than 6 inches which makes it difficult for the elderly to get off and onto the footpath. A mega program should be initiated to make Bangalore a walking friendly city over the next 5 years. Each year BBMP should target and ensure 200 Km of well designed, standardised footpaths that are safe and encourage walking in the city. 3. SEWAGE FREE LAKES IN BANGALORE AND STORM WATER DRAINS Since the time Shri. Kempe Gowda established the city; Bangalore has been famous for its lake network. In 1962 the number of live lakes was over 262. It has been steadily coming down with only about 35 in 1985 and 17 as of now. Most of our lakes, ponds and other water bodies are highly polluted. The CAG report on Bangalore has noted that 100 million liters of untreated sewage is let into the rivers and lakes and this highly polluted water, in turn is used for multiple purposes. Rainwater Harvesting is already a mandatory requirement for all citizens. We request that the Government enforce this strictly and impose stiff penalties on all apartments, institutions and citizens not following the norms. From our discussions with water experts familiar with the Bangalore terrain, it is clear that the water shortage in the city can be addressed through a series of comprehensive measures outlined with respect to lake rejuvenation, storm water and sewage treatment and rain water harvesting. Strict enforcement of the law is a must here. A city like Chennai with severe water problems has been able to resolve it with several such decisive measures and citizen compliance.
a) We must restore the eco-system of lakes in a time bound, cost effective manner. b) We recommend strong enforcement measures and stiff penalties to individuals and organisations that are found to be polluting our lake systems in any manner or dumping in storm water drains. c) STPs to be installed near the lakes to purify any sewage that is entering the lakes. d) The storm water drain network that connects these lakes should be cleaned up and restored. e) Tank water can be used as a source of drinking water if purified properly. A high level task force consisting of experts and concerned citizens should be setup to ensure this project is well conceived & executed within a defined time frame. 11 of our B.CLIP participants have taken up water, sanitation, lake restoration related projects in their respective wards. B.PAC offers to supplement the efforts of the BBMP and requests government support and active co-operation in making these projects a success. 4. THE 3 ELEVATED AND OTHER ROAD CORRIDORS The time being taken to travel across the city is continuously on the rise. We need to prioritize the fast movement of traffic in key corridors of the city. 3 corridors viz, Silk Board to Hebbal, K R Puram to Yeshwantpur and ITPL to Mysore Road should be taken up on priority and if need be, the option of making them elevated should be considered. These will take care of 60-70% congestion for next 20 years. The access to BIAL from South Bangalore via the NICE Roa