JD(S) candidate replies to Bellandur residents’ questions

Answers to the questions sent by residents from Bellandur Forum
By: Nandini Alva (Candidate for Bangalore Central from JDS)

 

1.If you get elected, what will you do, to prove to voters that you are honest and communicate to us about your work transparently? Will you commit to a monthly communication – email/website and/or public meeting? How can we residents send you our concerns and how will you act on those concerns?

Nandini Alva: I will be launching a CitizensConnect platform shortly specifically to hear Citizen concerns and issues. This platform will have an office in each of the Assembly constituenciesunder Bangalore Central. Citizens can also publish their questions on my website / facebook or send email to ensure that there is an interactive dialogue between us. As a MP I am allowed to seek funds from Central schemes for the betterment of my constituency. I shall publish a list of these schemes on my website (ad Citizen Connect centers) to create awareness on the rights of the citizens and the various government schemes available.

 

2. How will you ensure public participation – ie include us citizens of Bangalore Central – Bellandur ward -for policy-level decisions if you get elected again?
Nandini Alva: As mentioned above, I would like to hear grievances from citizens through my website and CitizenConnect centers. I would influence the concerned bodies through my position to address them. For Policy related matters, I would be open to suggestions & feedback that I can take up in the Parliament. I would build a polling mechanism to prioritize the issues.

 

3. What is your opinion on MPLADS? If you think it serves a purpose, how can it be used effectively and not on things BBMP should be doing anyways? How will you get citizen inputs on where it should be spent?
Nandini Alva: The primary objective of MPLADs funds is to executethe development works of capital nature based on locally felt needs with creation of durable assets. (http://mplads.nic.in/dpguid.htm). Each MP is given Rs 5 crores only each year that he/she can spend on pressing needs in the constituency. To address the needs of my constituency I have planned the following approach:-

  • Leverage the MPLAD funds as Seed funding and seek additional capital through PPP (Public Private Partnership)
  • Seekfunds from  key  Central  government  schemes  like  the  Jawaharlal  Nehru  National  Urban Renewable  Mission  (JNNURM  – the  pivotal  scheme  commissioned  by  the  ministry  of  urban development)  under  which  pressing  issues  like  power,  housing,  roads,  water  supply,  mass transportation,  sanitation  and  solid  waste  management  are  addressed.  Other  scheme  is  the Rajiv AwasYojanathat is exclusively meant for Urban housing and rehabilitation of slum dwellers. There  are  many  such  schemes  running  into  thousands  from  which  a MP  can  seek  funds.  But he/she needs to have a political will to leverage them. This would be one of my core agendas.

 

4. For us, groundwater recharge, cleaning up of Bellandurlake and sustainable development are important. How will you use your MPLAD funds to help us?

Nandini Alva:The biggest challenge at Bellandurlake is the inflow of sewage. According to BBMP, this lake receives around 400 to 500 million litres of sewage everyday.Cleaning and diverting the sewage inflow is a big task.The solution to ground water problem for the lake would require several hundred crores. In 1960, there were 262 lakes at Bangalore but now we have only 81 lakes. I would seek support from Central themes for uplifting of lakes at Bangalore. MPLAD funds will not be sufficient for a project of this size. I am committed to push for an urgent Water Recharge Plan for the city.

 

5. Given that the 74th amendment talks about empowering local governments and recommends devolving power to Municipal Corporations, what will you do to ensure this happens, using your power as an MP?
Nandini  Alva: I  strongly endorse  the 74th  amendment.  This  amendment  allows  for  the  power  to be amongst  the  people  who  need  to  effect  action  and  change.  However,  there  needs  to  be  strict accountability  and  checks  and  balances  between  the  Municipal  authorities,  local  MLAs  and  the  MP regardless  of  political  affiliation.  I  would  insist  on  a  CAG  audit  for  all  activities  and  then  educate  all citizens.

a) Will you support more powers for BBMP including ability to raise its own revenue so it is a strong independent local government?

Nandini Alva: Yes I support it. We need to decentralize and empower local bodies to action change. However, we need to identify clear roles and responsibilities, along with a system of accountability and transparency.

b) Do you want mayor to be city’s leader with real power over a 5 year term as opposed to the current one year term? Yes or No.

Nandini  Alva: While  I  am  agreeable  to  the  concept  of  a  Mayor  having  a  long  term,  I  am  nervous  to endorse  one  person  in  a  position  of  such  power for  5  years.  Unless  and until  the  credentials  & competencies  of  corporators  scale  up,  we  must  ensure  that  a  non-performing  Mayor  should  get replaced. The caliber of local elected representatives must be challenged and we citizens must insist on them being educated and credible to be corporators.
As  a  MP  I  would  initiate  a  debate  on  policy  for  selection  of  a  Mayor  and  build  a  consensus  on  the subject.

 

6. Given that the MP can take high-level policy decisions regarding infrastructure development based on population’s needs and given that local authorities like the BBMP’s hands are tied – will you support a new policy to put on hold permissions for new commercial and residential construction till the water
problem and road infrastructure are addressed? Yes or No

Nandini Alva: An MP’s role is to be the voice of the constituency in the highest law making body, the Parliament  of  India.  It  is  our  job  to  ensure  that  effective  policies  are  tabled,  debated  and  passed for betterment of the society at large. What is most critical is that we have an immediate comprehensive Urban Development Planthat addresses issues including water, garbage, sewage, roads in our city. As your  MP,  I  will  definitely  voice these concerns  and  initiate a  debate at the  appropriate constitutional bodies.

 

7. Take any massive problem — e.g groundwater recharge in entire neighbourhood or complete lack of sewerage lines in most of Bangalore’s newer areas..pollution or public transportation. What is that one item – you will take up as a pet project – and your voters can hold you to your word.

Nandini Alva: Women’s Empowermentand Water Shortageare going to be my top priorities. I would set up cooperatives to provide social and financial empowerment to women.Water is an issue near to my heart. We are facing a severe crisis of water shortage in the city that we have to collectively address. The water from downstream Arkavathy has dried, underground water has completely dwindled and of the 972 Lakes only 200 are considered live which are more dumping grounds for garbage and filth than reservoirs of potable water. As a city we not only have to restore and preserve our existing lakes, but also ensure large developments have sufficient amounts of open spaces for ground water replenishment – less concrete more soil!!! I would work on a 50 year plan for the city for water. I have already invested time  in  researching how major  cities in  the world  like Singapore,  London  etc recycle water.  We must adopt global practices for water recycling.

 

About Shilpi Sahu 62 Articles

Shilpi Sahu is a techie, running enthusiast, SWM advocate and an amateur artist, all rolled into one.

1 Comment

  1. Good answers. One question I’d ask is that, since many of the important railway stations fall under this constituency, what will she do as an MP regarding the following issues?
    1. Accessibility in Bangalore City Junction – disabled people currently face a lot of difficulty in reaching further platforms. Wheelchairs can’t go to some platforms when trains are at platform 1.
    2. Other stations like KR Puram too have failing infrastructure. Bangalore Cantonment is the one with better facilities after the recent renovation.
    3. Project Namma Railu could compliment Namma Metro and is easier to implement in a shorter duration. What can be done to make it happen?

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