May 11th, 2016
The Karnataka government has constituted a vision group in Bengaluru, comprising of industry stalwarts to help the city deal with the myriad problems it is currently facing, taking a collaborative and a holistic approach. The Vision Group, also called the Bengaluru Blue Print Action Group (BBPAG), will particularly try to solve the issues related infrastructural sprawl and other civil problems. The group headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah includes eminent Bengalureans like Narayana Murthy of Infosys, Azim Premji of Wipro, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon, Sachin Bansal of Flipkart, Ramesh Ramanathan and Swati Ramanathan of Janaagraha, as members.
The chief mandate of the group is to clear and implement a Bengaluru Blue Print, prepared by the NGO Janaagraha, which is visionary to find medium and long-term solutions to the issues faced by the city. The work will be classified area-wise and directions will be given to achieve goals in every area. TOI reports, a copy of the April 28 order said the vision group aims to improve the life of Bengalureans by bringing reforms in infrastructure and systems, resource mobilisation, transparent governance, especially e-governance solutions, and increased participation of citizens, organizations and industry members. The Bengaluru development minister KJ George is BBPAG’s vice-chairman. After demands from social activists, the Bengaluru Mayor Manjunath Reddy has also been included in the group in an advisory role.
Earlier in 2014, a similar vision group was planned, yet it could not materialise following a stay order issued by the High Court. The BBPAG is also different from the erstwhile Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF), which constituted only civil society representatives. This group, being a government-headed panel expect to see quicker action and effective long-term reforms.
Challenges ahead for Bengaluru
Bengaluru is reeling under severe problems of urbanisation. Over years, Bengaluru has seen one of the highest rates of real-estate and infrastructural growth in the country; as a result of which forest area and the green cover has significantly reduced. The city that boasted about its number of lakes is witnessing rapid drying up of those lakes. The pollution levels have also increased. These factors are harnessing the city to become unhealthy.
The Logical Indian recognizes the huge task ahead for Bengaluru city. The city has gone from bad to worse wrt pollution. It is a high time such initiatives came up, whether it is too late, only time will tell that. What is certain is reversing the environmental situation is no more a government work, the onus is on all of us to step up and start or lend a helping hand to any initiatives that seek to make our environment better for our own survival.