The Real Estate Research Initiative of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB-RERI), with support from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), has launched a web-based portal – www.rajakaluve.org to enable Bangaloreans to know if their property is situated on a storm water drain or ‘raja kaluve’. Inaugurating the portal for public use, BBMP Commissioner Manjunatha Prasad, said: “This portal enables people ease of access to find details about storm water drains in one place.” Citizens need to have the survey number, village, hobli and taluk as per the schedule in the registration document to be able to use this portal.
“There is a general fear, fuelled by a lack of information, among citizens on whether their properties encroach important water bodies like ‘raja kaluves’. Through this effort, we hope to alleviate some of those fears by making information easy to access for all,” said Professor Venkatesh Panchapagesan, Head of IIMB-RERI. Currently, information on encroachments are available on government websites. “Information is not easily searchable and encroachment details are often provided only in the text embedded within survey drawings released by government agencies,” said Sriram Ranganathan, Product Manager, IIMB-RERI.
IIMB-RERI is collaborating with a citizen initiative, www.mapshalli.org, to provide a Google map based searching capability also for areas where detailed maps are available. Shiv Shankar of Mapshalli said, “Technology enabled solutions are the way forward to solve modern-day urban challenges. We started with mapping of 50 villages around Whitefield. Now, after collaborating with IIMB-RERI, we were able to expand to 350 villages to help citizens using modern technology.”
BBMP Commissioner Prasad lauded the IIMB-RERI effort. “I congratulate IIMB for this exercise and look forward to more collaborative efforts between BBMP and IIMB-RERI,” he said. Urban governance expert Ashwin Mahesh added that such systematic efforts to put government data in the public domain are needed to allow citizens to overcome uncertainty and participate in making a better Bengaluru.
Professor Panchapagesan also pointed out that this is the first of a series of such public service initiatives that IIMB-RERI plans for the empowerment of citizens.
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