BENGALURU: After getting off to a great start in December, ward committee meetings, held for the second time last Saturday, saw sustained attendance by citizens and in several wards, more people showed up than in the first meeting.
According to Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB), at least 50 wards held meetings beginning Saturday till Tuesday, with more wards committing to hold meetings this week. “Several corporators announced that they could not hold the meeting today due to various reasons, including ill health. We are tracking these and some of them will happen this Wednesday,” a statement by CfB said.
The meetings, which became a reality after the Mayor said that they would be held without fail, started from December. While the first meeting was mostly a preliminary exercise, the second round saw detailed discussion of many issues. Mayor Gangambike led from the front again and chaired the meeting in her ward which over 100 people attended.
At Radhakrishna temple ward, several issues regarding CCTV installations, storm water drain cleaning and water supply and door-to-door garbage pickup from the low-income colony in Gedalahalli were discussed. Councillor Anand suggested his solutions for the same and connected the citizens with the relevant officials from the BBMP, BESCOM and other civic agencies.
At Bagalakunte (ward 14), officials from a few agencies who did not attend the meeting citing other commitments were given a stern warning by the Councillor who asked that they submit letters listing out the reason they skipped the meeting, a resident said.
“It is a great tool in the hands of citizens to ensure that they don’t have to run from door-to- door to highlight issues that we face and these can be brought up in the monthly meeting. So far, the meetings have shown some promise of leading to action on the ground. It would be great if this practice continues for 2019 and further,” said Rajesh Bhatt, a resident of Domlur.
What are ward committees?
Each corporator represents 40,000 to 60,000 people. Bengaluru has 198 wards. The councillor is responsible for urban governance, including waste management, roads, building lakes and schools. Ward Committees, groups of 10 citizens (3 women, 2 SC/ST members, 2 local association members and others), assist the local councillor in monitoring civil works. These meetings are open for public to attend. Issues can also be brought to the attention of the committee. In Bengaluru, these meetings started from December 2018 and are held on the first Saturday of every month.