Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) conducted a ward level debate at Uttarahalli on August 12th. It was the first in a series of eight debates conducted by NBF. Four candidates were invited, three of them attended the debate. Moderators asked questions to all three candidates and then opened the floor for public comments and questions.
- BJP: Hanumanthaiah
- Congress: Varaprasad Reddy
- JDS: R D Usha Rani
Voter attendance: Approximately 200
Venue: Shanthi Sagar Party Hall, #25, Subramanyapura Main Road, Uttarahalli, Bangalore – 560061
Moderators: Sridhar Pabbisetty and Prakash Belawadi
What changes can we see in the next five years?
- Cauvery water facility to all
- Scientific waste management system
- Indoor Stadium: Shuttle and games
- Traffic issue: Fly over, Uttarahalli to Banashankari
- Health/Yoga centres
- Playground and facilities for children
- Common amenities
- Water, road, sanitary
- Cauvery water supply
- Water issues
- Protection for women
With a loan burden of 9K to 11k crore, where will we get the required funds for BBMP and ward?
BJP: Development is happening despite this. The loans are from a long time. Developers breaking rules will be fined and the fine collected to be used for development. 10 to 15 crore can be collected from developers.
Congress: We can collect more than 200 crores once Akrama Sakrama comes into force. There are illegal layouts. Akrama sakrama rules when it comes. (The moderator pointed that the Akrama Sakrama has been challenged in the high court.)
JDS: Use funds collected from the State Government.
(For INC) More solutions are available now that no one is looking at it. Everyone is looking at Akrama Sakrama. Congress manifesto proposes to reduce penalty on property tax from 24% to 5%.
INC: When you reduce it people will come forward and pay the property tax. Poorer class can not pay the property tax and with the reduction everyone will pay it then.)
Should the BBMP be split?
BBMP restructuring committee gives more powers to CM on Bengaluru affairs. Is this good or bad?
JDS: Not sure
Ward money goes to the BBMP. Would you like a percentage of funds to devolved back to your ward?
No footpaths in your ward. What is the reason for this?
Congress: Due to increased vehicle capacity and road widening, footpath space has reduced.
BJP: Lack of planning. The space for the road needed to be increased with enough space for footpath.
JDS: We need to widen footpaths.
Is it good to bring Akrama Sakrama scheme?
Can we trust the BBMP officials to implement Akrama Sakrama or should it be an independent committee?
Congress: Independent committee
With Rs 8,000 as the remuneration, how do BBMP corporators lead such a lifestyle?
BJP: None of the representatives are depending on the income from BBMP.
Congress: No one is getting into politics for making money. I have grown in this area and want to work for it.
JDS: I am not becoming a corporator to make money.
How will you stay in touch with your voters?
BJP: I have dedicated myself to community service. I will meet them at least once a month.
Congress: Whenever they inform, I will meet with them and try to solve their issues.
JDS: I will work as much as possible. Whenever they call we will go and meet them.
How will you utilise the money that comes to the ward? Are you ready to share financial details? Are your ready to form a ward committee?
All three candidates said they would set up a transparent ward committee to spend the money.
BJP: We will bring the required officials and get the necessary work done. Every layout will get a representation in the ward committee.
Congress: We will show the details with the voters. (Same as above)
JDS: We will get everyone together and use funds for what is required for the ward.
Additional questions/concerns from the audience
- No roads in Bangarappa layout
- Cauvery water in some places but not all.
- Increase in mutton shops and liquor shops.
- How are candidates spending so much money when their income is going to be only Rs 8,000?
- No one comes and checks in the layouts (Vaishnavi layout), candidates come only during elections. Representatives need to come on a monthly basis.
- BJP has been in power for 20 years, where is the money going?
Sridhar Pabbisetty concluded the debate by saying: “Your power is in the ballot and need to increase voting percentages and elect a right representative.”
Disclaimer: This is an edited version of the minutes of the meeting sent by NBF. Citizen Matters’ staff were not present during the debate.