3rd July, 2023: The Govt has launched a Brand Bengaluru campaign to collect citizen responses on improving various aspects of city governance, including environmental services and management. Some of the specific intersections highlighted include – waste management, flood management, green spaces, infrastructure, health, mobility and water conservation. The participation from citizens is likely to target and be heard by the BBMP, BDA, Department of Urban Development, and the E-Gov cell.

Several noted civil society organisations have come together as a response to the newly elected Govt’s initiative for making Bengaluru a better organised metropolis. The 10-day long window for submitting suggestions comes to an end today.

In a set of strategic recommendations, organisations working across urban system reform services and protection of the environment have urged the government to look into their recommendations and have an open-door policy for collaborations on key areas of work.

The collective response is also an outcome of the ClimateRISE Alliance’s solutions-based approach for creating sustainable and resilient Bengaluru. The partners of the alliance include Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), Socratus, Saahas, Reap Benefit, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy and many other think-tanks and expert civil society outfits.

Recommendations from Partners Water and Flood Management:

● Preparation of flood management plans with structural and non-structural strategies (as per NDMA guidelines for urban flood management, 2010) with support from District Disaster Management Authority and BWSSB

● Carrying out a comprehensive campaign to map flood points and areas with water stagnation across the city and collaborating closely with citizens to collect real-time data on flood points

● Adopting a ‘sponge city’ approach and implementing nature-based solutions like bio-swales, recharge wells, wetlands, and parks for water infiltration and flow control

● Regular de-silting of tertiary stormwater drains and complete removal of silt.

Citizens Engagement and Governance:
● Creation of ward-wise digital platforms for facilitating public engagement in problem-solving; involvement of BBMP council and people’s consultation in major works and ward-level projects

● Formation of functional Ward Committees for inclusive participation, including youth committees for the development of local leaders

● Implementation of a state-of-wards metric to measure performance and encourage collaborative competition

● Inclusion of citizen inputs in city budgets through participatory budgeting

● Creation of dedicated environment cells in municipal corporations to coordinate and strengthen adaptation and mitigation strategies

Waste Management:

● Ward level training for citizens on composting wet/garden waste; provision of subsidies and incentives for materials required for composting

● Adoption of mechanized equipment for waste management to avoid direct exposure of waste workers to toxic elements; and complete coverage of welfare benefits to all Pourakarmikas working on waste management

● Instituting bio-CNG plants for processing of wet waste at constituency level

● Availability of well-equipped Dry Waste Collection Center (DWCC), and ensuring sufficient vehicles to be employed to ensure 100% collection

● Affordable and clean public toilets in every ward (at least 2) to address and cut instances of open defecation

Green Spaces and Infrastructure:

● Creation of mandates for green spaces in all residential and commercial buildings; invest in creation of small parks in every locality, especially in economically disadvantaged pockets such as slums and migrant colonies

● Strengthened implementation of existing regulations: Inclusion of Part 11 of National Building Code (NBC 2016) and/or Energy Conservation Building Codes (ECBC 2017) for commercial buildings & Eco-Niwas Samhita 2018 for residential buildings within the building rules/bye laws.

● Creation of a concrete Clean Air Action Plan for the Greater Bengaluru Area based on City Clean Air Action Plan developed by Municipal Authority / Smart City Mission/State Pollution Control Board

● Strengthened implementation of Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) to ensure all transport related decisions are taken by a single entity

● Enhancing capacity of public transportation: Expand the network and coverage of BMTC fleet buses, transition to cleaner vehicles

● Creating Nudge for Behavior Change: encourage and create incentives for carpooling from institutes; create awareness campaigns on impacts of use of personal vehicles on environment, air quality, and in turn health of people; disincentivize on-street parking except institutional buildings and develop multi-level parking in all commercial area

● Provisions that allow for dedicated cycling lanes on all arterial roads for the citizen of Bengaluru