Janaagraha, a Bangalore based not-for-profit organisation, announced the results of its Ward Quality Score (WQS) 2013 project on June 28, 2013, revealing a worrying decline in quality of infrastructure and services enjoyed by citizens of Bangalore. WQS assessed all 198 wards of Bangalore across 23 quality of life indicators, grouped into water, sanitation, environment, mobility and public amenities. Overall City Quality Score for Bangalore declined from 5.5 in 2010 to 4.4 in 2013.
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Pattabhiram Nagar in Jayanagar Assembly Constituency (Ward No. 168) and Yelahanka Satellite Town in Yelahanka Assembly Constituency (Ward No. 4) are the best two wards of Bangalore with scores of 6.23 and 6.15 on 10 respectively. Jayanagar and Yelahanka are the best Assembly Constituencies by Quality of Life, taking into account scores of all their constituent wards. Attiguppe and Hampinagar wards in Vijayanagara AC, and one ward each in Malleshwaram, Chamarajpet and Chickpet ACs are also among the best ten wards.
Thanisandra in Byatarayanapura Assembly Constituency (Ward No. 6) ranks as the worst ward with a score of 2.4 on 10. Wards such as Kuvempu Nagar, Kadugodi, Singasandra and Gottigere are in the list of worst wards with scores ranging from 2.4 to 2.7 on 10. Byatarayanapura, Yeshwanthpur, Mahadevapura and Dasarahalli are the worst Assembly Constituencies with average WQS of their wards ranging from 3.3 to 3.9 on 10.
“There is a clear trend emerging that outer wards which were added to the BMP few years back continue to suffer from much poorer quality of infrastructure compared to central wards of Bangalore. Besides suffering an inherent disadvantage, they have also been witnessing very high population growth as per Census 2011,” said Swati Ramanathan, Co-Founder, Janaagraha.
While vast majority of wards suffered from poor quality of water, garbage and high air pollution levels, there is a clear divergence in the quality of inner wards and outer wards, with 24 out of the 30 worst wards being outer wards. Similarly, 26 of the best 30 wards were inner wards which were all part of the BMP area.
‘Budget for wards should be based on quality indicators’
Commenting on this disparity, Ramesh Ramanathan, Co-Founder, Janaagraha said, “Budgetary allocations of the BBMP should be based on objective measures of quality of infrastructure and services such as WQS so that citizens of all wards of Bangalore are able to enjoy a minimum quality of life in their neighbourhoods. This will also correct the huge gap in quality between central and outer areas of Bangalore.”
The WQS 2013 Databook released by the NGO on this occasion revealed distressing trends for Bengalureans. 72 % of household water samples tested as part of the project were contaminated. 153 wards scored higher than 7 on 10 on household garbage collection. Interestingly, out of these 153 wards, 102 wards scored less than 3 on 10 on cleanliness of streets, validating poor transportation and disposal of garbage in the city. All 198 wards breached permissible Carbon Monoxide levels, with average of 55 times and maximum of 829 times excess CO recorded across wards. CO is the primary constituent of vehicular pollution.
On the brighter side, the city has shown commendable improvement in the City Quality Score for Parks (4.1 in 2013 vs 2.1 in 2010), with citizens in 135 out of 198 wards of Bangalore having access to Parks in their neighbourhoods. However, adequacy of parks relative to the population is poor. The City Quality Score for Mobility has remained largely unchanged from 2010. Further details on WQS are available on www.ichangemycity.com/wqs.
Janaagraha carried out the WQS survey over a six month period and now proposes to engage with RWAs, citizen groups, Councillors and MLAs to encourage civic ownership of neighbourhoods and more objective budgetary allocations among wards.
This has been published as part of ‘Message Forward’ service by Citizen Matters, meant for non-profit organisaions.