Just around three months ago, the state government completed the wards delimitation process. From 100 wards, Bengaluru now has a total of 198. And if you want to know what the boundary of your new ward is, www.bbmpwards.org is a website you can go to. The homepage of the site states that the site gives “comprehensive information about the composition of BBMP and the delimited wards along with details of localities forming a particular ward”.
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The site has been set up by Zoomin Softech Pvt Ltd, an IT solutions company, for the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Bangalore district, who is the top state government official for the district.
Features – search, maps, and more
Under the ‘Home’ menu, the ‘Composition of BBMP’ briefly describes what constitutes the municipal body along with a map. The ‘Home’ menu also shows ‘Assembly Constituencies in BBMP’. When you click on this, you get a map of Bangalore Urban district and a map indicating all Assembly Constituencies (AC) in different colours with an index. It would take a bit of an effort for you to read the names because of the font size.
Under ‘Search’ menu, if you click on ‘Assembly Constituency’, you will get a menu where you will have to choose an AC. Click on your AC and you will be able to see the total population in your AC, including male and female population, and SC and ST population. These figures are as per the 2001 census. You will also be able to see a map of Bangalore, highlighting your AC.
In the same page you have an option that says ‘Click for Interactive Map’. This will show a more detailed map of your AC, giving you the option to zoom in, zoom out and pan. Remember to enable pop up blockers in order to view this map.
Going back to the main website if you click on delimited wards, you will get a list of all the new wards under that AC. You can also see the map of each ward. When you click on the ‘Show Map’ button you will get data on the total population for the selection ward, male and female population, SC and ST population, and even the area of the ward. Here again, you can view an interactive map of that ward.
When you choose a ward, you can also see the localities of the ward. These also have an option of ‘Show Map’ which when clicked on, you get three different images – the locality marked on the BBMP map, the locality in the delimited ward and the nearest localities. At the very bottom is the ‘Click for Interactive map’ option where you get a similar map as mentioned previously.
You can also look for your new ward boundaries by choosing the ‘Delimited ward’ option under the Search menu.
The Search menu also has an option called ‘Locality’. Here you can search specifically for localities. Say you are searching for Chamarajpet. You can just type in the letter ‘C’ and the system shows you a list of all the localities starting with the letter ‘C’. Once you choose your locality, click on the Search the button. You will then get three different maps showing your locality and an option to view an interactive map of the locality.
There is also a ‘Gazette Notification’ menu which explains the delimitation of wards. There is both a Kannada and English document. It also mentions the important localities in each ward and the boundaries of each ward.
Defects and loopholes
Even though the website attempts to help you view the boundaries of your ward, there is still some scope for improvement. Foremost is that website does not help you locate your new ward with reference to your old ward. The website seems to solely cater to those who know what their new ward is.
The DC’s message on the homepage says, the website “facilitates one to understand the limits of each ward with constituent localities. It allows citizen to understand their virtual migration into new ward from the erstwhile ward in which they were located”. However, that does not seem to be the case.
For example, in the ‘Localities’ option under the ‘Search’ menu, it is unclear if one can search for all localities. Localities such as Sadashivnagar, Aramanenagar and RMV Extension do not appear in the list.
Also, in the interactive maps, some of the roads are named as ‘Other Road’. Hegde says that this is because some roads do not have any name and have therefore been named Other Road.
Another option under ‘Home’ menu is ‘Constituency wise Delimited wards’. Originally, this page was intended to show each assembly constituency with its wards mapped within. But this page currently shows the same as the ACs page. Dr V R Hegde, Executive Director, Zoomin Softech Pvt Ltd, unaware of the problem and says it will be rectified.
For some wards, the boundaries cut through roads and in places, it is not clear which ward one belongs to if you live close to the boundary. Hegde explains that this problem occurs mostly in the peripheral areas. “BBMP should rectify this and change boundaries”, he says, adding that he needs to keep in mind the population of a ward while carrying put this work.
It was recently reported in a city daily that the Urban Development Department has reworked the boundaries of the BBMP wards following objections from public. It was also reported that a notification has been issued in this regard. (Do we just remove this para?)
At the time of writing this story, Citizen Matters encountered errors while accessing the website. On informing Hegde about the problem, he said his “responsibility ceases on the final notification of delimitation” and that the website will continue to function for another month. He, however, fixed the problem that was brought to his notice.
On asking the DC, G N Nayak, about why there were errors while accessing the website, he responded saying, “More than a lakh people have seen this website. I’ll speak to them (Zoomin Softech) and see. If the contract is over, nothing can be done. I’ll check up and see if it is over”.