As part of the Solid Waste Management PIL, the High Court asked BBMP to setup the ward committees to help monitor SWM contracts etc.
The question of ward committees came up in the case when talking about decentralisation and audits on waste management, says Ajesh Kumar Shankar, lawyer for the petitioner. “Currently no one knows about who clears the waste in a street in a ward, how much is billed for it, who gets paid etc. There is a requirement that an NGO or RWA in the area should sign the bill; contractors get away by ‘creating’ some groups who sign the bills,” he says. He had argued in court that setting up ward committees will help monitor and audit waste management.
Pushed by the court to ensure Ward Committees exists by 21st Jan, corporators were working on putting the team together. There was also a special council session on the topic on 15th.
To ensure we residents get to have a say, our residents federation, Forward 150 wrote to the Bellandur Councillor Babu Reddy with our nominations before the council session. We obviously did not have time to do a proper representative list, however we put together a bunch of eight volunteers who are active in various initiatives, based on consensus. We wrote:
Sri. Babu Reddy, BMP Corporator Ward 150 – Bellandur
Dear Babu Reddy,
Subject: Nominated Names for Bellandur Ward Committee
Reference: Recent High Court order regarding appointment of ward committee representing civil society with immediate effect.
With reference to the above subject and reference, FORward150, the Federation of RWAs of Ward 150 nominates the following members to be a member of Ward Committee to represent among others civil society members in our Ward. The FORward150 represents about 137 registered apartments and layout associations that are part of Bellandur Ward and consists of more than twenty five thousand (25,000) voters and has been actively involved in liaison with Government and Parastatal to get
their services deliverable from them.
At least three members should be women; three should be members of registered and active local RWAs. We are nominating 8 names for your consideration. Selected members will support you for uplifting quality services to our Bellandur Ward. We are looking forward for a positive response from your side.
1. Sri. Arvind Limbavali, MLA & Hon. Minister for Higher Education
2. Sri Siddhaiah, Commissioner, BBMP
Babu Reddy responded to this letter. He said he would not be able to accomodate all the nominations but he has taken four names from our list and submitted them to the Mayor.
We are looking forward to take an active role in the ward committee. Given that Ward Sabhas (the set of representatives from each polling booth area) are not in place, we need to see how to structure the representations in such a way, the members reflect the needs of the entire neighbourhood.