BENGALURU: What is the biggest challenge in managing the city?
The biggest challenge in managing Bengaluru city has always been and even now is the absolutely inadequate financial resource generation and allocation, for the provision of the most basic necessities of the people, namely : adequate drinking water supply, comprehensive underground drainage, uninterrupted supply of quality power, good roads and public transport. These must be provided by BBMP. But, currently BWSSB is the organization that is responsible for the first two needs, BESCOM for power supply, BMTC for public transport and BBMP is only for roads.
Providing these fundamental necessities should be the sole responsibility of BBMP, which does not have any say or role to play in the functioning of the other three organizations which are under the administrative control of the state government. This is patently illogical and hence the present abysmal conditions. This must be corrected first by necessary changes in the legislation on the local state government.
Malaysia’s health minister praises your “Sunday Initiative” in the foreward. What was the initiative?
Meeting and discussing with the senior executives of Texas Instruments on their proposal for the setting up of an Off-shore Software Development Centre in India in 1984 (the first in the country), which was done on a Sunday has been termed as the Sunday Initiative.
How do we fix the troubles faced by KSRTC and BMTC?
The decentralised three-tier maintenance system that was introduced in KSRTC in 1985-87 should be suitably refined and adopted by BMTC. Facilities should be augmented, maintenance staff should be trained and the fleet should be constantly increased.
Financial and space constraints are possibly the main reason for the poor maintenance of the buses. At that time, we did not have or we overcame the financial constraint very effectively. Besides, the rule that all buses which have done seven years of service should be taken out of the fleet needs to be strictly adhered to.
Land distribution schemes are usually fraught with troubles. What did you face with Ashraya?
The Ashraya Scheme introduced in 1990 was a grand success due to its simplicity and focused approach. The distribution of free house-sites with clear title deeds, to a million siteless citizens of the state, in one year is a clear proof of its success.
There was no problem whatsoever neither in its formulation nor in its implementation.