The demands include incentivising public transport, banning garbage burning, empowering ward committees and more.

Listen to what we want Bengaluru residents release peoples manifesto
news Civic Issues Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 15:59

With Karnataka set to go polls in six months’ time, a crowdsourced citizens’ manifesto was released on Tuesday in Bengaluru.

The manifesto was made on suggestions gathered during the Beku Beda Santhe, which was held by Citizens of Bengaluru (CfB). It saw participation from other citizen collectives, citizen activists and resident welfare associations (RWA).

Tara Krishnaswamy, a founding member of CfB, said that the event marked a new era in activism in Bengaluru. “Instead of politicians proposing various projects, we are here to present our needs and to hold them accountable,” she said.

Demands

One of the many demands in the manifesto is to set up a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority to incentivize the use of public transport.

For this, the manifesto suggests doubling the bus fleet and reducing fares by half. Other than that, it also proposes the introduction of a suburban railway and last-mile connectivity solutions for mass transport.

In terms of road usage, citizens have decided that pedestrians should be given the utmost importance, followed by cyclists and public transport. Private vehicles should be given the least priority, the manifesto says.

It also talks about the necessity for at least one air quality monitoring station for every civic ward, and the enforcement of air quality as the standards of WHO.

Calling for more transparency in local governance, the citizens demand doing away with MLA local area development scheme, and want zero interference from them.

Background

The Beku Beda Santhe, which was held in October, took into account all the civic problems plaguing the city and prepared a list of ‘wants and don’t wants’ to counter them. The event also marked the one-year anniversary of the success of the Steel Flyover Beda campaign.

Beku and Beda translate to “want” and “don’t want”, and santhe translates to “festival”. It was conceived as a festival for citizens to openly demand what they wanted and what they didn't for the city.

The idea of Beku Beda Santhe was born as many felt that ruling class is fulfilling their own vested interests instead of catering to needs of citizens, Tara said.

The event witnessed a large turnout from students to social activists, who compiled their list of to form a citizens’ manifesto.

With the elections around the corner and due to the huge success of the event, those present included MLAs from all three major political parties — Dinesh Gundu Rao (Congress), Ashwath Narayana (BJP) and Tanveer Ahmed (JD(S)).

 

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