It’s like medieval exploration again. Bengaluru’s civic officials are planning yet another expedition to a foreign country in search of a solution to the city’s civic problems. If the state government approves, this might be their third trip.
Bengaluru Mayor BN Manjunath Reddy told The News Minute that Bengaluru Bruhat Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had received an invitation from the Japanese government to attend a four-day conference on smart cities. He said that they would study newer methods of solid waste management during the trip.
The four-day conference is to be held in Yokohama, and Reddy said that they would only be able to go if the state government approved. Asked when this would happen, he said: “It’s the state government… We can’t say anything. But BBMP will not be spending a single paisa. The Japanese government will sponsor all expenses.”
Four people from BBMP will be hosted for the conference which is scheduled to be held at the end of the month.
Before this however, delegations of councilors have visited other countries and even other cities in India in order to study waste management and other issues.
In 2011 in New York, then mayor Sharadamma and three others including BBMP engineers had attended a conference on business innovation and entrepreneurship strategies. It cost the BBMP Rs 10 lakh, but it is unclear what purpose it achieved.
The same year, Deputy Mayor S Harish had visited Israel for a conference on water, sustainable energy and environmental technologies in November. Harish came away from the conference impressed by the solid waste management plant in Tel Aviv. When interviewed by the media later, he knew what he was talking about even though it may never have been implemented.
Closer home, former mayor SK Nataraj visited Pune in 2010, and in 2013, then mayor BS Satyanarayana took the whole council – all 198 of them – to Salem to study garbage processing, but all that transpired is that more and more villages on the outskirts of the city are refusing to take shit (figuratively speaking) from the state capital.