Citizen Action Forum (CAF), a federation of Residents Welfare Associations in Bangalore, is starting a campaign to highlight what it calls “misplaced priorities of BBMP, BWSSB and the state government” and to propose a plan to resolve critical issues plaguing the city.
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TAXES: BBMP should not increase property tax rates. It should first widen the tax base and increase the revenues from sources like rental income from BBMP properties, licensing fees, taxes on hoardings etc. It is estimated that only 40% of the properties are paying taxes amounting to Rs 900 Crores. BBMP should also demand 8% of the total amount of taxes collected by the state and central governments in Bangalore, as per 74th constitutional amendment. The full potential is therefore about Rs.2250 Crores.
WATER: Supply treated waste water for all non-potable usage. This will effectively bring down the demand for filtered water. It should be mandated that all new layouts, huge apartment blocks to have twin water supply lines to facilitate the circulation of treated water.
Revive existing lakes as a completely interconnected system of lakes. Clear Rajakaluve encroachments or create alternative interconnections. Stop illegal letting in of sewage into the storm water drains: this will enable rainwater collected in huge lakes to be piped through water treatment plants for supply of drinking water. Revive the Hesaraghatta lake and Arkavathy river system; it can take care of 25% of our requirement.
SOLID WASTE: Only 10% of city waste is recycled currently. If waste is segregated at source, 40%-50% of dry waste can be recycled. Every ward should have a dry waste collection centre, which pays for plastic, paper etc., so that there is incentive for segregation. If garden and leaf waste is composted locally, it reduces waste by another 10-15%. There is enough capacity in current landfills to compost the remaining pure wet waste. The compost can be given back to villages for agriculture.
Following several zonal meetings held around the city, CAF is holding a city level meeting to take next steps. RWAs and concerned citizens are welcome.
Shared by CAF members: N S Mukunda, N Mukund and Meenakshi Bharat.