BENGALURU: With the BBMP budget slated to be presented on Saturday, Express spoke to residents of the city to find out their expectations from it.
During the interaction, many citizens, including activists and members of residents welfare associations, were apprehensive about the proper utilisation of funds allocated for different projects. Infrastructure, waste management, traffic and sanitation are the major areas Bengalureans want to be prioritised.
Our Hagadur ward has an area of 12.44 sq km and a sizeable population of 60,000 people. And yet, in the budget, the allocation of funds is B3 crore for every ward. The allocation should be proportional to the ward size. There are no public toilets in our ward. The BBMP budget must also focus on protection of public property as lands are being gobbled up illegally.
— Murali G, member,of Whitefield Rising
There is a lack of infrastructure in government hospitals. Doctors are made to work with limited resources, and this causes issues between the doctor and the patient. Even though the 108 ambulance service is good, but with all the traffic issues, our ambulances need to be better equipped. There is a lack of expert doctors at Primary Health Centres. Our hospitals don’t have enough of ICUs to deal with during epidemics or other emergency situations.
— Dr Jagdish Chaturvedi, ENT surgeon
The civic body should have taken inputs from each ward before planning the budget. I hope they will focus on sustainability, protecting green cover and lakes and groundwater recharge. BBMP can make the city more friendly and dynamic by focusing on the development of the footpaths and cycling lanes. Pedestrians and cyclists should be given preference over vehicles. There should also be provision for more parks, gardens and infrastructure for bus shelters in the city.
— Sandeep Anirudhan, social activist
BBMP must make sure the localities themselves have the funds for facilities they need. Repeatedly, the outflow-inflow predictions are completely off. Not even 50 per cent of the funds are spent, and the revenues like from property tax are not collected properly. So something is fundamentally broken in the budget cycle and they need to get it right. Traffic, pollution, sanitation and safety are areas that need focus in every locality across the city. Better road management and not just flyover is the need of the hour.
— Tara Krishnaswamy, coordinator, Citizens for Bengaluru
Three things are critical- transparency, consultation and process. The various departments in the BBMP don’t coordinate with each other. Citizen welfare initiatives should be better integrated as they’re doing quite well. I feel more empowered by them. From a personal perspective, the BBMP has been extremely negligent about the animal birth control (ABC) programme. We need eight zones in Bengaluru but we have only two and they don’t pay the NGOs. They have a budget of B5-6 crore. In case there’s an outbreak of epidemic among the dogs, it will affect the entire city.
— Priya Chetty Rajagopal, member, Citizens for Bengaluru