Siddaramaiah vision group to make Bengaluru better place to live

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The Karnataka government has constituted a vision group in Bengaluru, comprising of industry stalwarts to help the city deal with the myriad problems it is currently facing, taking a collaborative and a holistic approach. The Vision Group, also called the Bengaluru Blue Print Action Group (BBPAG), will particularly try to solve the issues related infrastructural sprawl and other civil problems. The group headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah includes eminent Bengalureans like Narayana Murthy of Infosys, Azim Premji of Wipro, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon, Sachin Bansal of Flipkart, Ramesh Ramanathan and Swati Ramanathan of Janaagraha, as members.

Vision group formed to pull Bengaluru out of its infra morass

Its mission is to improve the life of Bengalureans by implementing the Bengaluru Blue Print prepared by Janaagraha, a notfor-profit organization, last year. Unlike earlier editions which had civil society members and urban experts, BVG has the industry’s leading lights as non-official members. A copy of the April 28 order, available with TOI, said BVG aims to improve life of Bengalureans by ushering in reforms in infrastructure and systems, resource mobilization, transparent governance, especially e-governance solutions, and increased participation of citizens, organizations and industry members. A source in the government said BVG was formed following a re cent meeting between NR Narayana Murthy with Bengaluru development minister KJ George. “Setting up of the Vision Group was discussed at the meeting that was also attended by Janaagraha founders Ramesh and Swathi Ramanathan. The order was issued after the CM’s nod.”

Urban expert and BBMP restructuring committee member V Ravichandar, a member of the new group, says BVG is different from the erstwhile Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF), which was a civil society-led task force set up by the government. “This group is led by the government which has reached out to the civil society to work together to improve Bengaluru.”

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Mission Bengaluru: The chief mandate of the group is to clear and implement a Bengaluru Blue Print, prepared by the NGO Janaagraha, which is visionary to find medium and long-term solutions to the issues faced by the city. The work will be classified area-wise and directions will be given to achieve goals in every area. TOI reports, a copy of the April 28 order said the vision group aims to improve the life of Bengalureans by bringing reforms in infrastructure and systems, resource mobilisation, transparent governance, especially e-governance solutions, and increased participation of citizens, organizations and industry members. The Bengaluru development minister KJ George is BBPAG’s vice-chairman. After demands from social activists, the Bengaluru Mayor Manjunath Reddy has also been included in the group in an advisory role.

Earlier efforts: Earlier in 2014, a similar vision group was planned, yet it could not materialise following a stay order issued by the High Court. The BBPAG is also different from the erstwhile Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF), which constituted only civil society representatives. This group, being a government-headed panel expect to see quicker action and effective long-term reforms.

Challenges ahead for Bengaluru: Bengaluru is reeling under severe problems of urbanisation. Over years, Bengaluru has seen one of the highest rates of real-estate and infrastructural growth in the country; as a result of which forest area and the green cover has significantly reduced. The city that boasted about its number of lakes is witnessing rapid drying up of those lakes. The pollution levels have also increased. These factors are harnessing the city to become unhealthy.