BENGALURU: Calling ward committees a ‘joke’, residents are now questioning the intention behind their formation.Many blame the committee for being inactive despite being formed with citizen's representation.“These are just namesake committees,” says Chitra Venkatesh, resident of Kumara park west (ward 93). She says that the committee hasn't had a single meeting after its formation in June. “Some ward committee members direct complaints to us. That's the joke,” she adds.
Susamma Mathew, ward committee member of New Thippasandra (ward 58), frequently gets calls from residents to fix issues in the area, but is awaiting an official confirmation on her candidature in the committee in order to act on it. “How do I act without an authorisation from the corporator or the BBMP,” asks Susamma.
Like her, another committee member in the ward Vinu Jade, 53 too is awaiting an official confirmation from the civic body. “I have not received any paperwork confirming my induction,” says the resident of LIC Colony, 9th Main Road. When Vinu called the corporator's office for clarification, they informed him that they are waiting for a directive from the BBMP.
The New Thippasandra ward committee was democratically nominated and satisfies all the quotas enlisted in the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976 (Karnataka Act 14 of 1977), claims Jayashree Ganeshan another ward member.While she has no doubts about her candidature as a member, Jayashree says she waiting for the corporator to call an official ward committee meeting.
“The BBMP posted the names of ward members on their website. I take that as an official confirmation,” she says, adding that the members are waiting for an official communication from corporator Shilpa Reddy on their individual roles. Jayashree believes that the corporator's office is awaiting instruction from BBMP on the committee’s functioning. Another ward committee member says that no one from BBMP has shared details of the budget and ongoing projects with them, adding “we are clueless”.
BBMP joint commissioner Dr Ashok told City Express that the city corporation is not to blame. “Any member can ask over a call, and we will send across documents enlisting their duties as the ward member,” says Dr Ashok. The corporator of New Thippasandra (ward 58) Shilpa Reddy says, “BBMP has confirmed the candidature of the ward committee members. I regularly meet with the RWA members”. So, what is delaying the committee's first meeting after its formation two months ago? “I shall hold one next week,” responds Shilpa.
Responsibilities of ward committee members
Manage and ensure proper use of funds
Supervise programmes and schemes in the ward
Ensure timely collection of taxes
Water supply and sewerage system maintenance
Ensure solid-waste management and sanitation work
Maintenance of street lights, parks and open spaces
Ensure afforestation, implementation of rainwater harvesting schemes
Inform the Corporation regarding encroachment of land
Work stagnated by inactive committee
(New Thippasandra, ward 58)
Efficient garbage segregation
Desilting of storm water drains
Asphalting of 4th Main Road, HAL 3rd Stage
Cleansing of drains
New pipes to replace narrow drains