Lack restrooms and electricity
BBMP, the fourth largest municipal corporation in India, responsible for a population of over 6.8 million, itself lacks infrastructure, civic amenities and electricity in its offices.
Kumuda BJ, an accountant working for BBMP, Thyagarajanagar, informed The Observer: “Though the office hours are fixed for both men and women, we face problems at times due to the lack of a restroom for women. We mostly have to go outside. Power outages are a frequent problem.”
Similar is the case with the BBMP office in JP Nagar, Phase 1, where heaps of garbage are piled up outside the office. The office space is not enough for smooth functioning and implementation of tasks.
Nethra M, an accountant at the JP Nagar BBMP office, said: “The situation has remained the same for the past three years. One can observe the files stacked into a small space within the room. We mostly come to finish our duties on time. It no longer bothers us.”
According to a report published in Citizen Matters on November 7, 2019, the 74th Constitution amendment, or Nagarpalika Act, was passed 26 years ago to give “power to the people” in urban areas. Under it, ward committees should be set up in all municipal corporations with a population over 3 lakh to ensure decentralisation, citizen participation and accountability.
Ravi Kumar, assistant executive engineer, BBMP office, Mahadevapura, said: “Ward-level meetings are held every week. Our officials handle issues faced by citizens connected to potholes, bad roads, drainage, etc. on time. Sometimes, the issue is resolved within a day. We are planning to allocate a separate office space for which efforts are on to negotiate terms with the BDA.”
Subramanaya, a supervisor at the BBMP control room, said: “There are inspectors and sub-inspectors to handle issues related to ward work at the local level, while there are separate officials to handle major roads and the Central Project. So there is no question of inefficiency.”
Sameer H, planning head, Centre for Urban and Rural Infrastructure Planning, Bengaluru, said: “BBMP has to construct offices and buildings as per the book of construction laws. The office has to serve notices to the occupation department for building approval, but that is not happening.”