Citizen concerns – from intolerence to property tax

Dear Readers,

This second issue of the Citizen Matters print fortnightly will hit your homes at a time of change, worry and resurgence in Bengaluru.

First, intolerant sections of society are taking the law into their own hands to stifle their fellow citizens’ openness to diverse traditions. Many freedom-loving Bangaloreans are reacting, with protests, campaigns and peace marches, against the backdrop of the upcoming Valentine’s Day. Second, citizens and citizens groups are continuing to both engage and confront government in various platforms. Many young Bangaloreans are more involved now, and this is more visible than earlier. Bicyclists are working with the Bangalore Metropolitan Land Transport Authority to make your city friendlier, NGOs are working to thwart attempts by the state government to push though expensive infrastructure at any cost, and in the meantime the chief minister’s own ABIDe committee has released a number of reports on ‘reforms’ for Bengaluru.

Amidst all this, a major concern now for those of you owning your own houses was BBMP’s long awaited property tax announcement.  BBMP has finally struck a note of clarity, and even provided handbooks and tools in their website to help citizens. But anomalies remain.

Newly demarcated ward maps are not yet available, but the zone classifications are based on the new ward numbers. Citizens especially pensioners are concerned that tax zone reshuffling has sometimes resulted in large — upto 40 per cent increase in the property tax amounts. 
And just in case you are wondering, a quick recap about Citizen Matters.

On 31 January 2009, nine months after Oorvani Media launched, Bangalore’s first online community e-newsmagazine, we launched the Citizen Matters print fortnightly. This free, sleek, 16-page magazine is currently being distributed in the south Bangalore localities of JP Nagar and BTM Layout II Stage.  You can also pickup copies from select stores (See previous page for the pickup points).

We encourage you to send us your responses and feedback as we grow to cover other areas of the city. Citizen Matters is published by Oorvani Media, a local media firm founded by Bangaloreans, Subramaniam Vincent and Meera K. For more about our founding, please read our launch editorial, article #112. Use the ‘Goto Article’ box on the website to put the article number. No need to type out long URLs!

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