Bangalore International Centre had arranged a Talk on “Governing a Megacity: Challenges of Bangalore” by Dr. A. Ravindra, Urban Expert and Chairman, Centre for Sustainable Development, on Thursday, 25th July, 2013 at 6:30 pm. The talk was moderated by Dr. Samuel Paul, Founder and Former Chairperson, Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore.
Bangalore is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It will soonjoin the league of mega cities with a population of ten million plus. Dr. Ravindra in his scintillating talk with slides at BIC mentioned that Bangalore is a classic example of a city that has achieved tremendous progress in hi-tech industry, higher education and GDP growth but had failed to effectively manage its civic affairs. We seem to be progressing from one crisis to the other. Neither the State nor the local government is able to address the challenges faced by the city with a clear vision and strategy.
It is necessary, according to Dr. Ravindra, to increase public transport to 70%, curb the use of private vehicles, improve quality of roads etc.
It is time to have a separate legislation to govern Bangalore and the surrounding region,independent of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, as do other metropolitan cities in India such as Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi. Dr. Ravindra also felt that there was reluctance on the part of the political executive to decentralize power and authority to the local authorities, along with adequate resources, and that there was an immediate need to appropriately change their mindset. He was optimistic that the comparatively younger crop of political leaders could play this role of converting their seniors.
Dr. Samuel Paul moderated the session very efficiently. The question answer session following the talk was enriching where there was a consensus among the audience that a good law is the surest way of empowering people in a democracy.