The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and Janaagraha’s #MyCityMyBudget annual campaign, meant to involve citizens in the making of the city’s budget, was kicked off on Tuesday.
The thrust of this year’s campaign is to improve public toilets, end public urination and ensure pedestrian-friendly footpaths.
The campaign that will be live for a month, seeks inputs from citizens for the next BBMP Budget. Citizens can submit their proposals at: https://www.ichangemycity.com/mcmb2020. BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad said that inputs are welcome through email, apps, forms and even through the budget van. He recalled that in the year 2017-18, the campaign received 22,000 suggestions from the public.
Janaagraha will be anchoring citizens’ submissions (through Resident Welfare Associations and Civil Society Organisations) and will publish the Citizen Budget Report by mid-January. By mid-February, BBMP will work out the costing for the inputs received. By the end of March 2021, the Palike will assess and include citizens’ inputs and release the Budget for 2021-22.
At the launch, which took place in the BBMP war room, Manjunath Prasad said “This meeting is my call to all citizens of Bengaluru to participate and give us your inputs on what you think Bengaluru needs. Let’s work together with the funds we have and build toilets that every citizen can use, repair and put right all roads, so people enjoy our city and its beautiful weather.”
Janaagraha’s Civic Participation Head Srinivas Alavilli said: “The yellow spots (public urination spots) are literally a blot on our city. Public urination cannot be stopped until it becomes a movement by the people.”
“As citizens, we can participate by identifying ‘yellow spots’ unusable public toilets and bad footpaths. Once identified, we can ensure they get into the plan of action. Research shows that public urination is connected to the lack of public toilets or unhygienic public toilets. This year’s budget will focus on making toilets better and achieve public toilets like “airport quality” as well as build new toilets,” said Janaagraha Civic Participation Head Sapna Karim.
BBMP’s Special Commissioner (SWM) D. Randeep took citizens’ queries through a live question and answer session.
The #MyCityMyBudget campaign, a brainchild of Janaagraha, was launched in 2015 as a pilot project in a few wards of the city. In that year, the campaign succeeded in getting 6037 inputs from citizens about the Budget.
It became a city-wide campaign in 2016, under the city’s Mayor and BBMP commissioner. In 2017, the campaign received 67,114 inputs while in 2018, as many as 12,468 inputs worth Rs 600 crore, were incorporated in the city Budget.
[This article is based on a press release from Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, and has been republished with edits]