The former corporators, speaking at a panel discussion hosted by Janaagraha, highlighted the absence of city corporators since September 2020.

The virtual panel discussion hosted by JanaagrahaJanaagraha
news Governance Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - 18:32

For the past 12 months, Bengaluru has had no corporators. Since September 10, 2020, which is when the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council’s term ended, no elections have been held, since the civic body polls were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tired of waiting around for their wards to finally get corporators, Bengaluru-based NGO Janaagraha held a panel discussion on September 15, which is marked as International Democracy Day, to draw the Karnataka government’s attention to this issue. 

At the event held on Wednesday, former corporators and citizen activists pointed out why Bengaluru needs corporators, and why it is a serious issue that the council does not exist. Congress member Shilpa Abhilash, who was formerly the Corporator of New Thippasandra ward in Bengaluru, explained that the city’s bad roads, the many issues with the garbage disposal, the reported lapses in COVID-19 management during the second wave — are all examples of how the absence of corporators has affected the city.

“Corporators often go around the wards, they are familiar with the issues plaguing the ward and can efficiently solve those. In the absence of the civic body council, the problems have remained unsolved,” said Shilpa Abhilash. These issues can range from civic amenities, infrastructural health care facilities, as well as safety and security in the ward. Corporators act as direct links between the citizens and the government. 

Shilpa pointed out that due to the lack of officially elected corporators, current nodal officers have also isolated the former corporators. “The officers do not pay heed to the civic issues and thus corporators are the only authority that can do so,” she said.

Shilpa added that the government is denying the people their fundamental rights by delaying the civic body polls.

Also present at the event were members from various political parties and organisations in Bengaluru, including Abdul Wajid (former Congress Corporator), Usha Mohan (Aam Aadmi Party Representative), Swetha Vijaykumar (former BJP Corporator), KV Yashodha Rajanna (JD(S) Representative) apart from the Congress leader. 

KV Yashodha Rajanna, of JD(S), pointed out that there is a huge difference in governance today than before when corporators were in place.

Further former BJP Corporator Shwetha Vijaykumar of Doddanekundi pointed out that in the absence of corporators, development works in the city that were undertaken last year have stopped. “With no elected representatives present in the council, who will hold others accountable? The civic works in the wards have stopped. The corporators ensured that the civic works were completed in time,” she said. She further added that in the past year, she has not been able to help the residents of her wards like she did when she was a corporator.

“However, there are issues in issuing death certificates, medical bill reimbursements. Ward committee functioning is affected,” she added.

You can watch the entire discussion here

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