Ward panel list: CfB plans stir, to file RTI

Bengaluru: Disappointed over their names not figuring in the ward committee list announced for 131 wards, Citizens for Bengaluru are all set to file massive RTI applications on Friday.

Hundreds of people who had submitted their application to be a part of ward committee, but did not find their names in the final list, will throng BBMP Head Office and submit RTI applications seeking to know the status of their application, process involved in selection and how many had applied.

Citizens for Bengaluru Coordinator Srinivas Alavilli said, "Citizens are part of governance and they should feel the government is closer to them. Ward committees are an excellent platform for citizens to engage in governance. Be it faulty street lights or mosquito menace or any other thing affecting citizens can be raised in the committee meetings and offered solutions."

CfB had facilitated around 190 applications of active citizens to be part of ward committees. Not even a single name figured in the list finalized for 131 wards, he lamented. 

Majority of people still do not know that ward committees exist. They do not know the power of ward committees. Information is like a weapon. Only after the citizens were told that hundreds of trees will be chopped for steel flyover, they woke up. Only after citizens got to know the benefits of suburban rail they are fighting for it. Such things should happen to ward committees too, he said. 

The CfB coordinator said that BBMP claimed that there were no guidelines for selection. "But we want to know the reasons why these applications weren't selected. Even in private companies if we are rejected, they let us know on what grounds we weren't selected," Alavalli said.

"If there is no guideline for selection, then we will explore the legal options to enforce a process for Ward committee selection," he added.

Hundreds of citizens who have applied for ward committees along with civic groups like Citizens' Action Forum, CIVIC Bangalore will visit BBMP and file RTIs  and protest, he added. 

Our effort is to highlight the injustice meted out to active citizens in the selection process and make people know that genuine people have not been considered, he explained. Apart from filing RTIs, hundreds will gather and protest at BBMP HO on Friday.

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