18th June 2014
Dear Shri Siddaramaiah
I have been receiving representations from various citizens and Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) expressing their concerns over the escalating crisis over garbage and waste management in Bangalore.
As a citizen of Bangalore and a Member of Parliament from the city, I write to you on their behalf and mine to express severe disappointment and anger with the Government's handling of the issue.
At a broader level, the cities governance is descended into chaos and crisis management - a fact that is important given that you had promised better Governance. The rampant corruption, lack of transparency, flawed contracting system and vested interests that are driving the city's governance strategy have rightfully, caused the ire of citizens.
The problems Bangalore is facing, specifically with respect to waste management are less to do with structure or size of the city, but rather of more fundamental issues of planning and institutional performance in terms of delivering public services. The garbage crisis, like several other issues the city faces, is a glaring symptom of unplanned growth. This in turn has serious public health consequences which are not being discussed yet.
What the city needs is urgent Governance reforms and a planned approach to its development. In 2010, post several meetings and consultations with over 40,000 citizens, the 'Plan Bengaluru-2020' (PB-2020) document was drafted and submitted to the Government of Karnataka. Plan Bengaluru-2020 had sought to create a comprehensive integrated region wise plan to address Bangalore's future growth and all consequent issues, including the problem of waste management the city is currently grappling with.
The Plan Bengaluru-2020 document emphasized on planning, pointing out to dangers and costs incurred due to the ad- hoc approach to the city’s and its resident's problems. It also dealt with how these problems will become much more difficult and expensive to address, if not resolved immediately – which now seems prophetic with respect to the garbage crisis. This document has already been with the Urban Development Department for several months, without any action.
I urge you to take the initiative now - and start a two track approach - FIRST an immediate emergent solution of alternate waste-fills to prevent further shame and disaster for the city, simultaneously reconstituting the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) and SECOND to put into place through the reconstituted MPC a multi-year statutory perspective plan and reforms for our city
The Government must know that citizens are angry and disappointed with the way their city is being governed currently and unless the Government and elected representatives act responsibly, you can expect activism and agitation of the kinds we have seen elsewhere.
I am available to you and the Government to restart the process that has been in limbo for several years for reshaping our city and I hope you will respond appropriately to the crisis facing the city and its residents.
I look forward to your response
Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka