07 October 2017, Bengaluru: Over the last few decades, We are witnessing how in the name of development our communities are being destroyed and our neighbourhoods transformed. This stems the negligence and continued apathy of public officials and crippling of government institutions.
Cities exist for its citizens, and all modern cities work on that fundamental principle. It is thus imperative that we, citizens of Bengaluru, have to take up on ourselves; to fight against massive corruption and institutional failure, misuse of public assets, deeply entrenched vested interests and the nexus of builders with public officials.
Swarajya in association with Namma Bengaluru Foundation and Public Policy Club of IIM-Bangalore, on Saturday hosted a one-day Urban policy conclave, 'Swarajya Cityscapes - Reclaiming Bengaluru'. An impressive array of thought leaders - influential policy analysts, practitioner, commentators and policy makers that included Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, D Roopa (IPS), R Jagannathan (Editorial Director, Swarajya), G Raghuram (Director, IIMB), Deepak Malghan (Dept of Public Policy, IIMB), and others.
The themes were Citizen's Role in Reclaiming Bengaluru, Water sustainability in Bengaluru - Way ahead; Urban Planning - zoning and enforcement; Swaccha Bengaluru - Garden, Not Garbage city; Beyond Bangalored - How can India's IT capital Maintain Its Pre-eminence as a Tech and Innovation Hub; Reimagining Urban Transport- Roadmap to a sustainable model; Making Bengaluru a 21stCentury Smart City; among others. Professors at IIMB also presented case solutions on Land Titling, Real estate, Solid waste management and Transport.
The deliberations and conclusions will also be shared with the government and other public bodies.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP, Rajya Sabha said, "Ever since I entered politics, I have addressed many problems and challenges of the city to ease the life of citizens. The crises of the city are the real one and it is urgent one, we have to get rid of 'Ok Chalta Hai' attitude. The current state of the city whether its floods due to rains, garbage, pollution is due to years of neglect. The collective citizens apathy has allowed the government to conveniently forget and ignore the city.
The biggest crook today are not the corrupt officials, greedy builders or the useless government, but it is our collective apathy that is allowing all this. We don't stand up for the things that we want to be right, rather we just get used to it and allow it to grow. Citizens of Bengaluru are always in a state of war with the government as the public is not consulted while planning projects like steel flyover, metro or the road widening.
We live in a city with finest educational institutes like IIM-B, IISc and others, we have world class health facilities, most of the fortune 5 technology companies have offices in Bengaluru but still we lack basic facility."