Activists allege that the BMRCL didn’t even open all the emails that they got, based on backend data.

Govt unresponsive to citizen feedback on long-term mobility plan for Bengaluru Activists
news Transport Sunday, January 26, 2020 - 13:24

The BMRCL has announced that they have looked at the citizens responses to the draft Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP), which is a plan for transportation development in the city. Many were opposed to it, and urged people to send in their comments on the plan, the deadline for which was January 20.

The citizen activists in the city are crying foul, as the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has reported just 475 responses to the CMP, according to TOI. However, citizen activist groups who ran an online petition questioning the CMP’s rationale in its present form and asked people to send comments, say that this is a gross underreporting. As per the activists’ records – a copy of which is with TNM – there were 3,254 people who responded.

They allege that the BMRCL didn’t even open all the emails that they got, based on backend data.

Co-founder of Citizens for Bengaluru Srinivas Alavilli says, “Thousands of people sent them emails, but they haven’t even looked at them! When they asked for public feedback and received it before deadline, the least they can do is to consider all feedback.”

Srinivas continued, “When a public agency does an outreach [to public], the least they can do is respect time and energy spent by citizens to engage. They must count and read every single email they received. As BMRCL did not publicise the public consultation at a scale it should have, we took that responsibility and ran an awareness campaign on social media and got 3200 people to participate. But the BMRCL does not seem to have acknowledged that also.”

“A majority of feedback signed by our online petition questions the validity of the CMP, and rejects the elevated corridor. They should clearly announce how many people said that instead of making assumptions,” he added.

Many citizen activists are opposed to the CMP as it includes the contentious elevated corridor. In fact, citizens had earlier run the campaign to have it dropped, but it has again reappeared in the draft CMP. Activists say that the CMP also emphasises private transport, and does not focus on public transport and non-motorised transport (such as cycling or walking) as much as it should. 

BMRCL MD Ajay Seth told TNM that 3237 emails were from a single mail ID. "The total number of suggestions are 3541, out of which, 304 are from individual mail ids. The rest if the 3237 e-mails are from a single mail Id, mostly with a common subject. All of them will be considered," Ajay Seth told TNM. 
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