BBMP ELECTIONS- Hear it from a citizens point of view
author: Raghav Ravichandran
August 22nd, Saturday is the day for the BBMP Elections( the local civic body elections) in the city of Bangalore.
On this day, I thought why not chat up with someone who is actively campaigning in & around where she lives about the importance of this election & why people must vote even for this election.
I am talking about my aunt Lalitha Mohan who is actively involved in spreading the word about these elections with her friends & others who lives in & around where she lives . And who was interviewed by local news channel TV9 about the menace of Dengue which was caused as a result of a non existent garbage segregation & garbage disposal mechanism in the city of Bengaluru.
I had a good, long conversation with her about this & many other issues. It was a good discussion & below is an excerpt of the discussion:
Me: Firstly, a big thank you to you for agreeing to answer my questions as part of this Q& A discussion. Coming to the main topic of discussion, could you let the readers know what the BBMP elections are & what is its importance to a citizen/resident from your point of view?
Lalitha Mohan: Elections happen at three levels, ie Parliament Election, Assembly Election and the Local Corporation Election. The Local Corporation Elections....in our case the BBMP elections, are important because the local corporator is your first level elected representative. Bangalore is divided in 198 wards and each ward has an elected corporator. The local
corporator is in-charge of taking care of our day to day requirements in our neighborhood. For example...regular clearance of garbage, water supply, roads in our neighborhood, walk-able footpaths etc, maintenance of parks and playgrounds in the area, street lights etc. So the corporator plays a very important role in ensuring that some of our basic needs in the neighborhood are taken care of.
Me: As a citizen of Sanjay Nagar, Judicial Layout could you specify three major problems you face & what solutions are you looking at to be provided post the BBMP elections?
1. Regular Garbage Clearance. The solution for this problem is to ensure regular garbage clearance, ensure that all residents/citizens segregate their garbage & make necessary facilities within the ward for the wet waste to be processed so that it does not have to be taken 40 kms away & dumped into a landfill. Below is a video which educates us about the importance of garbage segregation & how educating the garbage collectors can yield to good results:
2. Walkable Footpaths & Bad condition of roads.
The solution for this problem is all foot path encroachments need to be cleared & roads need to be repaired to facilitate smoother traffic & provide walk-able footpaths for the residents to walk safely.
3. Mosquito Menace which is leading to diseases such as Dengue & Viral Fever arising out of it.
The solution to eradicate this problem would be to create awareness about the source of dengue mosquitoes and how & where they breed and ensure residents take steps to eliminate the sources from their houses & around their houses. The best way to create an awareness is through school children. I myself went to one of the biggest schools in this area along with two friends and a doctor from the Ministry of Health(MOH) and did an awareness program in the school.
Below is a video depicting the plight of Ward No 18, Radhakrishna Temple Road who are severely impacted by the Dengue Virus which has almost become an epidemic in this Ward:
Me: I was very heartened to see that in your last session of Jwalamukhi that you asked the children to positively influence 5 adults so that they vote for the right person in the elections.
A couple of questions on this:
a. Do you think people will even bother voting for such an election?
P People generally do'not bother. That is why the voter turnout in a city like Bangalore for an election like the BBMP election is just about 40%. We have to change this. People go in large numbers to go to vote for the Parliamentary elections but not for the corporation election. They don't seem to realize that when they have problems in their local area, they can'not call the MP but the corporator.
Below is a ground zero report from Ward No 198 , Hemanagara & what the condition of that area is presently:
Do you feel people can keep out their political prejudice aside when they come to vote?
People should & must realize that for a Corporation election they should keep their party preferences aside & vote for a good candidate. Even if the candidate happens to be from the party that you support, but is corrupt, it will be a disaster for your neighborhood. The funds allocated for development work in your ward will never see the light of the day. Funds will get allocated
but you will never see any change in the area in the short term or long term.
Me: And finally, you were seen on channel TV9 in connection to these elections. What would you like to say to all those people who would be going out to vote in this election?
Lalitha Mohan: Please come out & vote in large numbers for the BBMP elections. I would want to inform everyone who would read this to know the background of all the candidates & then cast your vote. Spend a little time before voting in reading up on the background of the candidates & then cast your valuable vote.
For example, some wards are reserved wards. In a ward which is reserved for women, there will be many candidates who will be proxy for their husbands or party leaders. Request all to not vote for such puppets in the name of voting for the party. Every vote is valuable. Take the little trouble of knowing & understanding the candidates & then cast your vote.
Good luck Bengaluru!
To end this post, I would like to say that it was a very informative & productive discussion I had & I sincerely hope people who read this & who live in Bangalore, do take note of the points made by Lalitha Mohan & vote for the right person for the corporator for your area.
For readers in other cities , I hope this was a very educative post with regards to the local civic body elections or the BBMP elections taking place in Bangalore today.