MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has made suggestions aimed at ending apathy and corruption at different levels in the government and its agencies.  

 

Open letter to Chief Minister of Karnataka by MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar

 

I thank Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Siddaramaiah for his belated decision to cancel the Steel Flyover -  even if it took several citizen protests, months and cases filed in National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the High Court - for him to realize that people really didn’t like this strange idea of his government’s to solve the city’s pressing traffic problems with one Steel Flyover.

 

But important questions remain about why this project was attempted to be pushed through in a hurry without true public consultation with citizens and a true Environment Impact assessment study for the impact of the felling of hundreds of trees. The allegations of corruption and Congress MLCs diary entries still remain unaddressed – further reinforcing the widely-held perception that the reason for this project was not to solve the city’s traffic jams, but other reasons.

 

If this decision of Chief Minister was to put these kinds of questionable decisions behind and to start afresh and be responsive to what citizens want and do so without allegations of impropriety and corruption, the Chief Minister should do the following

 

1.    Immediately start the process of creating a multi-year plan for Bengaluru – that creates city-wide solutions for traffic, water, garbage, public health, child and women safety, environment and lakes, heritage etc. This plan should be developed by real experts and then discussed openly and transparently with citizens of the City. I urge him to act on this now.

 

2.    To address the perception of rampant corruption – I urge him to ensure mandatory disclosure of all present and future commercial contracts, tenders and land-use decisions of the government, government agencies in Bengaluru starting immediately till elections 2018 are declared. This kind of disclosures will ensure public scrutiny of all deals to avoid temptation of corruption and money making before elections.

 

3.    BDA ‘s efforts on Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2031 must not be a way to give additional Floor Space Index (FSI) to certain builders and real estate companies. The RMP must go through the mandatory public consultation as per the clearly laid out guidelines of Supreme Court. Citizens must be given an opportunity to comment. All citizens’ comments should be documented in a public domain with a reason for accepting or rejecting.

 

Also Read: What's the alternative to scrapped steel flyover? ask North Bengaluru citizens

 

4.    The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has gained the reputation of being a notoriously corrupt organisation. Its whole conduct and decision making during steel flyover must be investigated including that of certain people who were transferred out just before project was cancelled. Either disband or reform the BDA.

 

5.    The current Bengaluru Development & Town Planning Minister seems to be incapable of solving the many problems of Bengaluru including traffic jams, dying lakes, garbage issues, illegal construction, deaths due to negligence by BBMP, child and women safety, corruption, etc. and seems to be extra-ordinarily obsessed with big shiny expensive projects like Flyover only - for reasons best known to him and the Chief Minister. In the recent press briefing he seems to have suggested that I be given the job of looking at Bengaluru’s traffic problems. This admission that we have a minister who is incapable of doing his job means that as Chief Minister you change him and put a more capable and honest minister who can address the problems of our city and its people.

 

Also Read: Bengaluru wins: Congress cancels steel flyover project

 

On the other hand, if the Chief Minister is pressured by circumstances in his party to not be able to change him, then the Government must candidly admit its inability to take care of its responsibility to its citizens and consider resigning to make way for early elections. – Because Bengaluru cannot tolerate for another year, the same apathy and negligence of the last 4 years.

 

 

 

(Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the Chairman of Jupiter Capital, which has investments in Asianet News Media & Entertainment Pvt Ltd that publishes Asianet Newsable.)