HomeEnvironmentThe Chimes of Change: Initiated by Deccan Herald

The Chimes of Change: Initiated by Deccan Herald


Being one of the most urbanised and developed cities in India, it is only natural that Bangalore should bear the brunt of severe overpopulation, as well as the subsequent repercussions that impact almost every citizen; the sheer number of complaints received from the residents, relating to sanitation, road safety and a plenitude of others, buttress this stand. However, rather than adding to the waves of disapproval, certain people have taken the initiative of attempting to curtail these complaints, and of improving the conditions of this crowded, congested city as a whole.

“Citizens for Change” Movement

As reported by the newspaper Deccan Herald, Deccan Herald launched the “Citizens for Change” movement in Bangalore to provide citizens a place and platform to voice their grievances, as well as to get a signed undertaking from the representative/candidates assuring that major societal and civic issues pertaining to their constituencies would be looked into within a given span of time. The response to this program has been immediate—meetings have already been held, and almost 200 corporators have been assigned positions of responsibility. So, this action essentially lowers members of offices to the local level, so that these learned people can address issues (such as street lighting, haphazard garbage disposal, and drainage problems) of the common folk.

This resolution proposes the holding of meetings between Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and respective residents and citizens, negotiating with MLAs regarding funds and consequent action, and providing the problems with a platform at the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) meetings. In the words of K S Shilpa, an elected ward representative, “Our intention is to foster a long-term relationship with the residents. So, we have decided to hold meetings at least once a month with the residents to take their suggestions”. This program also strives to address the everlasting traffic issues that shadow Indian roads—such as the putting up of road signs and traffic billboards to raise awareness and curtail the vast number of accidents on Bangalore roads. These corporators will also look into the reinstatement of police officers on the main streets or isolated regions during nighttime, with the view of improving safety of Bangalore denizens at all times.

Its Importance and Implications

This is a key, beneficial initiative taken, since it shows that politicians are prepared to make a positive change in regard to the welfare of their wards and citizens—and also because it throws light on issues not at the national level, but at the grassroots level. Being highly urbanised and overpopulated, Bangalore is a metropolitan city that has a plethora of issues which simply can’t be left unresolved or loosely hanging about—so taking action is absolutely necessary. In fact, this process of urbanisation and population explosion has become so violent and widespread that V Balasubramanian, the former Additional Chief Secretary of Karnataka, had projected that Bangalore may need to be evacuated by 2023, due to the ever expanding problems of water scarcity and disease. Even worse was the humiliating demotion of “Bangalore—the Garden City” to “Bangalore—the Garbage City”. The fact that so many people of the older generations bemoan the disappearance of the quaint beauty, security and tranquility of former Bangalore isn’t only a lamentation, but also an impetus to act—and to act fast.

Water leakages, incorrect disposal of garbage and lack of sanitation are stigmatic occurrences that only add to this issue; however, on closer inspection, it can be seen that these matters are ones that can be addressed relatively easily, as long as people work from the beginning—from the very origins of the problem. And now that Deccan Herald is looking at an issue not of national significance, or statewide significance, but of local significance, making a positive, tangible change will become much more doable. All that is needed now is cooperation on the sides of both the corporators and residents, so that the fruits of this initiative can be basked in in their entirety.

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