BENGALURU: One-and-a-half months after ward committees and meetings were pressed into implementation, 107 out of 198 wards in Bengaluru have still not had a single meeting. Due to pressure from Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) pushed their corporators to hold these meetings once every month, starting December 2018.
“So far, we have been reaching out to resident welfare assosciations and residents we know from all wards urging them to start ward committees, but we do not have the machinery that BBMP does, to reach all people. They must ensure that the remaining ward corporators and committee secretaries start conducting meetings,” said Yogeesh Prabhuswamy, volunteer at CfB.
Another issue is that BBMP has not been updating details and minutes of ward committee meetings held so far on their website.
“A total of 68 wards had meetings in December. 62 have had meetings in January so far and 20 more will have it in the coming days of this month. Also, 35 to 36 wards have had two meetings,” said Yogeesh Prabhuswamy. He added that apart from improving the quality of content, suggestions have been made to BBMP to have Joint Commissioners at zonal level, following up on the ward committee meetings held
There has been progress in terms of number of residents turning up at the meetings, according to CfB. Compared to December, the agenda and notice calling for the meeting was put out a week earlier in some wards.
“In a bid to have something concrete in the minutes of the meeting made public, some corporators are genuinely looking for active citizens who can get work done. In ward 80 (Hoysala Nagar) there were only five people for the first meeting. This month, the number increased to 20-25 people,” Prabhuswamy added.
When contacted about the remaining 107 wards that have not held the meetings, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, said, “We found that the ward committee secretary who are BBMP officials (such as engineers), have been transferred in many places. We have to find someone to take their place. Training sessions will be held for member secretaries on holding the meeting regularly, putting up an agenda in advance, reminding the corporator, etc.”
“They secretaries should be more proactive. We have instructed Joint Commissioners of all eight zones to meet once in a month with all corporators in their ward, to review the progress of ward committee meets,” Prasad said, adding that the corporation will begin updating the website more regularly as well.