BENGALURU: A public-private initiative to improve civic amenities in the city seems to have stalled. BBMP’s Namma Bengaluru Nanna Koduge (NBNK) scheme was launched in June this year with much fanfare by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, but only a few of its projects have made any headway so far.
Out of the 250 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed for the maintenance of civic amenities, schools, colleges and other city infrastructure, only a few have produced any result. Maintenance work has been taken up at just 11 lakes, 18 schools, a few parks and some medians.
Nobody is showing any interest after the dissolution of the 12-member committee on NBNK, said P N Sadashiva, its erstwhile chairman and Sunkenhalli councillor. “There is no committee now and interest in the scheme has tapered off. Unless, we form a new committee this scheme will not take off,” he said.
BBMP sources said that after the dissolution of the NBNK committee, the joint commissioners of the eight zones were supposed to take the project forward. “Earlier, we had IAS/KAS officers posted as joint commissioners but now officers from various departments of BBMP have been posted, who have neither shown interest nor taken the work seriously,” they said.
The IT/BPO sector and many corporate individuals in Bommanahali, Whitefield and Sarjapur Road, who had earlier spoken of commitment and collaboration, are now nowhere to be seen, another source said.
Sadashiva said a few groups came forward for maintaining skywalks and medians in Jayanagar and Mahadevapura. “However, we cancelled the projects as they were advertising companies interested only in publicity,” he said. “Canara Bank had shown interest in park development in Basavanagudi and Corporation Circle. However, that too did not take off.”
Mahadevapura, with 17 wards and home to ITPL, has not seen any response from the IT sector with proposals only for three circles, three parks and two lakes. Deva Raju, Joint Commissioner, says, “The IT industry is yet to show any interest. Two builders and developers, Brigade and Vaswani Group, have signed MoUs for the development of two lakes. Talks are going on for other projects.”
Rajarajeshwari Nagar Joint Commissioner Bheemappa said only four parks and two medians have been taken up by a college, the Rajarajeswari Temple and the Gopalan Mall.
There was lot of curiosity initially about the scheme, and a few people even wanted to take it up in schools, said Dr B S Manjunathswamy, KAS, who was heading a school development project and has now been transferred. He said several proposals came but they chose only a few. PES came forward to develop 10 schools, Tech Mahindra eight and Kirloskar five. “There is need for trust between BBMP and the stakeholders. The usual complaint is that a project is given only for one to two years but many wanted it for five years,” he said.
FKCCI president S Sampathraman said BBMP has to first set its house in order and then expect corporate help. “The corporate sector would love to be a part of this initiative as a few lakh rupees here and there does not matter. But BBMP’s schemes should be properly outlined and defined.”
Mayor Shanthakumari said, “I have instructed all engineers and joint commissioners to be proactive and cancel those MoUs that have not taken off. Officials have been told to look for new initiatives and for those people who are interested in doing something for the city and not just for publicity.”
A Pathetic Response
Several corporate houses, NGOs and clubs had signed MoUs with BBMP when the scheme was launched. They had agreed to maintain 103 parks, 36 medians, 16 traffic islands, 48 circles, 19 schools, and 21 hospitals in eight palike zones. South Zone attracted the most with 83 projects. The Bommanahalli zone, which houses the who’s who of the IT industry, elicited a measly response of 20 projects. PES University, Tech Mahindra, Seshadripuram Educational Trust and others had offered `85 lakh for development of school infrastructure and training of teachers.