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Bengaluru is going open source for next year’s Budget.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has partnered non-profit citizen initiative Janaagraha to invite the participation of locals ahead of the city’s 2017-18 Budget. The programme, MyCityMyBudget, expects more than 50,000 suggestions from citizens, who can give inputs on how the taxes they pay should be used for the city’s development.
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Sapna Karim, head of MyCityMyBudget, said: “The suggestions will help BBMP understand what the priorities are for citizens and what they expect. In a way, it is involving citizens further into governance. We have launched the programme earlier so that by the time the finalisation takes places, inputs can be compiled and given to BBMP for consideration.”
Mayor G Padmavathi, and Commissioner of BBMP N Manjunath Prasad kicked off the campaign to invite suggestions from citizens. Janaagraha had last year run a pilot project in various wards and got 6,000 suggestions from citizens. Nearly half of the suggestions were on roads, garbage and footpaths. The rest were on drainages, water supply and how to revive greenery and maintain heritage buildings.
Bengaluru, once known as a pensioner’s paradise, has outgrown itself into a megapolis in nearly three decades after the city emerged as an outsourcing destination for global firms. Its lakes are now being polluted or are disappearing due to indiscriminate construction. Bengaluru has also become notorious for its traffic jams. Bengaluru has among the highest density of vehicles on roads — 6.4 million for a population of 11 million that has resulted in bumper-to-bumper traffic across arterial roads. The Budget feedback initiative will be focused on resident welfare associations, schools, colleges, urban poor communities, worker groups and online campaigns. It will run till November end.
R K Mishra, a member of Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC), said: “Citizens can very well define what their ward needs. Currently, it is being done by corporators. This initiative gives citizens a chance to participate and monitor the work. This is an extremely good initiative.”