For good governance, everyone should do their own job

The Chief Minister wants to do the Mayor’s job, and keeps most of the power and finances needed for the city with the State government, rather than devolving them. The Mayor is attending to complaints from the public and trying to resolve them, which is good, but surely that seems like the Commissioner’s job. Without a framework for running the city, there is total chaos, and no realistic expectation of improvement.

What is needed?

(a) The CM should constitute the Metropolitan Planning Committee for the Bangalore Region, let SOMEONE ELSE lead the planning, so that there is sufficient mind-space to the job properly without the pull of other responsibilities. He should also convert BDA into a single agency for all infra development (roads, pipes, drains, bridges, everything) so that there is no passing of the buck between agencies responsible for different aspects of public infra.

(b) The Mayor should set GOALS to be achieved through administration during his tenure, and ask the Commissioner and his team to achieve them. He should also keep pushing the state government to devolve more and more powers and finances to the city leadership.

(c) The Commissioner should educate his team about the goals he has agreed with the Mayor, and ask them to give weekly reports on progress towards the goals. He should also instruct them to engage with the public in resolving day-to-day issues.

(d) The corporators in their respective wards should ensure that the goals for their wards are being achieved, by having ward staff report to them in the same way that the senior officials report to the Mayor. The Council should also support the Mayor’s effort to make city administration strong, and as far as possible independent of interference from the State administration.

(e) The citizens should vote for representatives who understand this separation of roles

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Ashwin Mahesh
About Ashwin Mahesh 85 Articles
Ashwin Mahesh has been involved in public policy for Bengaluru through his work with the Karnataka government. The views expressed here are his own. He is a member of the Lok Satta party. He is also CEO of Mapunity Information Services, and a director at Oorvani Media, publisher of Citizen Matters and India Together. He is also a visiting faculty with the Centre for Public Policy at IIM Bangalore.

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