Citizens’ manifesto seeks solutions for traffic, pollution and water problems in Bengaluru

CITIZENS' MANIFESTO FOR BENGALURU, FOR KARNATAKA ELECTIONS

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A few months ago, Bengaluru saw people from various resident welfare associations and list out their wants for Bengaluru. This was at Beku BeDa Santhe, organised by Citizens for Bengaluru. The list that came out of it, a citizens’ manifesto for Bengaluru, was submitted to various political parties.

Here goes the citizens manifesto.

Traffic

Principles:

  • Prioritize moving people over vehicles
  • Incentivize public transport over private transport
  • Invest heavily in mass public transport

Demands:

  • Setup UMTA
  • Double the bus fleet, halve bus fares
  • Add 10 new suburban train routes every year
  • Increase frequency of metro; add coaches
  • Integrate public transport with last mile connectivity

Roads

Principles:

  • Hierarchy of road usage is pedestrians, cyclists at the top, followed by public transport and lastly, private transport
  • Minimum uniform carriageway with traffic calming signals
  • Minimize lifecycle cost of roads

Demands:

  • No signal free elevated corridors within ORR
  • No flyovers within ORR
  • No potholes, road quality and mainte-nance to be preemptive
  • Restore storm-water and shoulder drains
  • Levy parking and congestion charges on private vehicles

Pedestrians

Principles:

  • Build roads around pe-destrians, not for vehicles!
  • Walkability, accessibility and safety of pedestrians are non-negotiable

Demands:

  • Pedestrians to always cross at grade level
  • No skywalks except on ring roads and highways
  • Walk button at all traffic signals
  • One-way roads must have traffic calm-ing signals

Water

Principles

Reuse, recharge and con-serve Right to Water

Demands:

  • Free lifeline water to every household, 10,000 open wells
  • All government and public spaces must have recharge wells
  • No tanker mafia
  • Lake water should become potable

Garbage/SWM

Principles:

  • All the garbage generated in a ward stays in the ward.
  • Dignity of labour for all poura karmi-kas and sanitation workers

Demands:

  • All garbage contracts must mandate segregated waste handling,
  • Functional dry waste collection centers
  • No garbage transport mafia
  • Ensure timely and at least minimum wages for contract poura karmikas

Public spaces

Principles:

  • Strive for 40% public space
  • Encourage densification and open up more public spaces
  • End public urination

Demands:

  • Create 20 vehicle-free pedestrian plazas
  • Keep playgrounds and parks open all day
  • Impose heavy fines and remove illegal hoardings
  • Public toilets clean, accessible and usable by all

Pollution

Principle:

Conform to WHO air quality standards

Demands:

  • Stop sewage from entering lakes
  • At least one outdoor air quality monitor in every ward
  • Ban garbage burning
  • Reduce emissions from vehicles
  • Set time limits for construction activity, 9AM-6PM
  • No trees to be cut without public consultation
  • Tree plantation drives in every ward with community ownership

Health and Sanitation

Principles:

  • Sanitation provisioning must precede building plan permission
  • Transparency and preventative measures on vector borne diseases
  • Dignity of sanitation work

Demands:

  • Zero manual scavenging
  • Must invest in sewage and manhole cleaning machines
  • Working STP capacity should be more than daily needs
  • Intensify Dengue – chikun gunya- vector control like spraying
  • Release actual statistics on dengue, chikungunya etc.
  • Toilets must be clean, usable, and accessible for all

Housing

Principle:

  • Affordable housing across all wards

Demands:

  • RERA compliance
  • No Akrama Sakrama
  • Enforce zoning laws
  • No building permission without complete process adherence

Governance

Principles:

  • State Government should adhere to the Principle of Subsidiarity
  • Decentralize all possible functions to the lowest level
  • Political and administrative devolution of powers to BBMP
  • Empower ward committees to monitor all ward level works

Demands:

  • All city agencies must re-port to BBMP
  • Separate Act for Bengaluru (zoning and other laws)
  • Directly elected Mayor, no Bengaluru Development Minister
  • No MLA interference in city governance, cancel MLA LADS

Citizen’s participation

Principle:

  • Corporators are accountable to citizens
  • Transparency in all budget allocation spends and project decisions

Demands:

  • Empower Ward Committees
  • No veto power for corporator over ward committees
  • Any project over 10 Crore needs a referendum
  • Monthly ward committee meetings must publish budget and spend
  • Consult citizens in planning activities

Planning

Principle:

  • Constitutional provisions such as MPC must be paramount
  • Plan must be appropriate to scale of area: ward/zone/city/region

Demands:

  • Ward level plans to precede
  • RMP 2031 finalization.
  • Planning by MPC, not BDA
  • Enforce zoning laws
  • Devise Bengaluru specific zoning laws

Inclusiveness

Principles:

  • Empathy in planning, budgeting, implementation
  • All citywide initiatives must be prioritized in favor of most vulnerable, underprivileged

Demands:

  • Primacy for Kannada in public signage and documents
  • Protect street vendor rights
  • Toilets for transgenders
  • Disabled-friendly footpaths and public spaces
  • Clean and safe Anganwadis and schools

Manifesto prepared by:
Citizens For Bengaluru
Radio Active 90.4
CIVIC
Citizens Action Forum
I Change IndiraNagar
Reclaim Richmond Langford
Malleswaram Swabhimana
Initiative
Federation of Apartment
Associations Bengaluru
Coffee Board Layout
AECS Layout
CiFOS Sanjaynagar RWA
DreamADream
Jhatkaa
Langford Civic Action Group
Volunteer for Cause VFC
Shantinagar RWA
Bangalore Apartment Federation
Active Resident Welfare Association
Evangelical Social Action Forum
World Resources Institute (WRI)
Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA)
Association of People with Disabilities
Lancha Mukta Karnataka Vedike
Aikyam Community for
Sustainable Living
Citizens Agenda for Bengaluru
Fedina
Being Social
Shantiniketan School
Kumara Park RWA
ForceGW
KR Puram Rising
Whitefield Rising
CFB Manifesto CitizensForBengaluru.in
bit.ly/cfbfacebook bit.ly/cfbbbs

Want to volunteer?
bit.ly/cfbregister +918 9040 67800

Full disclosure: Meera K, co-founder of Citizen Matters, moderated a session at Beku-BeDa Santhe as a resource person.


About Tara Krishnaswamy 5 Articles
Tara Krishnaswamy is a resident of Bengaluru, and a volunteer for Citizens for Bengaluru. She tweets at @tarauk