In the past, Karnataka has disastrously placed trust in task forces & vision groups consisting of elite personalities to imagine what is right for Bengaluru. These groups were undemocratic and contrary to the constitutional mandate. The present Congress Government has once again pushed for the formation of another such forum to seek views of the elite in shaping the future of the metropolis.
Please sign this petition to support our appeal to the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka demanding that the city be governed through a deeply democratic and inclusive process and that the Metropolitan Planning Committee be constituted immediately.
Download the pdf version of the Petition here.
Shri. D. K. Shivakumar
Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister and
Minister for Bengaluru Development
Government of Karnataka
Subject: Citizens demand constitution of constitutionally mandated democratic processes to reimagine, govern and administer based on inclusive processes Bengaluru metropolitan area.
I/We place our demand through you to the Government of Karnataka to institute processes that will ensure the metropolitan area of Bengaluru will be governed and administered in constitutionally mandated deeply democratic ways.
As you are well aware, Karnataka has controversially and disastrously placed trust in the past in a network of rich and famous personalities largely drawn from IT/BT sector, film and entertainment industry, real estate developers and the like to imagine what is right for Bengaluru. This initiative which took the form of Bangalore Agenda Task Force in the S M Krishna led administration during 1999-2004 resulted in privileging elite interest and diverted financial resources to projects that favoured their imaginations thus denying the masses their rightful benefits.
Subsequently, the B. S. Yediyurappa administration attempted a similar approach through Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development Taskforce and the Plan Bengaluru 2020, which too resulted in skewing resources financial, human and material to serve the cause of the elite.
One sincerely hoped that the Siddaramaiah led administration would keep its promise of inclusive development and governance of the Bengaluru metropolitan area and thus set an example for such a constitutionally appropriate approach to governance across the state and the country. The hope was that at least now, 31 years after the enactment of the Constitutional 74th Amendment (Nagarpalika) Act, 1992 to deeply decentralise urban administration and genuinely devolve power to the local government – which is often stated to have been Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s dream – the Government would make real efforts now with the massive mandate for reform that it has received.
Instead, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister Shri. D. K. Shivakumar has pushed ahead with creating forums to seek views of the elite in shaping the future of the metropolis knowing well that this is undemocratic and unconstitutional. That it is implementing projects shaped by such elite aspirations that has caused the disastrous state of this metropolis, which not too long ago was a highly functional and inclusive metropolis, seems to have been forgotten by this new government.
I/we thereby demand that the ongoing efforts to invest our money in mega projects and schemes that cater to the aspirations of the elite, real estate lobbies, foreign investors, etc. is immediately abandoned. I/we demand that a genuine effort be made to constitute the Metropolitan Planning Committee immediately and to take all necessary measures to ensure democratic governance of Bengaluru is undertaken through an elected council. All planning and administration of the metropolis must be undertaken ground up through Ward Committees (and their subunits – Area Sabhas) as is Constitutionally mandated and directed by the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka (in WP 46523/2012).
Failure to meet these Constitutional demands will require us to demonstrate our rightful dissent against ongoing elite capture of Bengaluru’s futures and imaginaries.
Environment Support Group
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