A ward debate in Shettihalli on August 13th brought together four candidates to discuss issues of funding, drinking water and women’s empowerment. The debate was documented by Namma Bengaluru Foundation. We are presenting to you an edited version of their documentation.

BBMP elections 2015: Candidates for Shettihalli ward 

  • BJP: K C Venkatesh
  • INC: K Nagabhushan
  • JDS: Prakash A
  • Independent: Shambulinge Gowda

Moderators of the debate: Sridhar Pabbisetty, Prakash Belavadi

Venue: Annapoorna Party Hall

How was Bengaluru supposed to be? After the boom in the public sector, how should Bengaluru have grown? In Nehru’s opinion, other cities remind him of India’s past heritage, but Bengaluru reflects the future of India.

BJP: When Yeddyurappa was in power, he made BBMP. BJP was responsible for BMP becoming BBMP. There were no streetlights, sanitation or transportation. After BBMP was formed, roads were tarred, lakes were developed and got water. If we get elected, we will make it a model city. We have Mr. Modi’s support and our senior leadership support is here. We got Metro and water supply to Bengaluru.

JDS: There is no necessity for any national party to support the development of a place. A regional party is capable of doing it. HD Devegowda has shown it by getting an international airport. HD Kumaraswamy has plans to make a clean, green, beautify city — a model city. HD Devegowda was responsible for the 4th Phase of of Cauvery water.

Independent: Bengaluru should have been where Singapore is. But due to lot of issues, it’s in the current state.

Question (to INC): What will you do about the increase in number of vehicles? Roads have to be widened, this further reduces footpaths. Where will people walk?

INC: Bengaluru is the best place for companies compared to 27 capitals. SM Krishna has played an important role in the development of the city to become an IT city. We need flyovers and signal free corridors. When Kempegowda formed Bengaluru, he brought together 108 villages.

If you get elected what are the five changes that you will bring to your ward?

INC: The garden city has become a garbage city. CM is bringing back glory back to city.

    • Garbage-free
    • Raja kaluves
    • Sewage being dumped in lakes.
    • Cauvery water to all; right now, only available to the rich.
    • Homes for the poor.

JDS

    • Clean drinking water
    • Green ward
    • Dirt-free ward
    • Facilities for the poor and for senior citizens
    • Form Ward Committees and let voters work for the development in the ward.

BJP: (Same as other candidates.)

Independent: Same priorities as other candidates. 

    • Cleaning the ward.
    • Clean the water and drinking water.
    • Tree planting and toilets for every street.
    • Loans for small businesses at low interest rates.

BBMP has a 10k crore loan. Where will you get funds from?

INC: From property tax.

JDS: Collect property tax properly. The reason for this collection not happening is due to proper infrastructure not being available and work not happening.

Independent: Programs will be designed keeping budgets in mind. We will ensure that funds that are allocated for each work will be used for it. Funds for road work will used for road work

Should BBMP be split?

BJP: No

INC: CM has proposed to divide BBMP into 3 parts for better governance. Bengaluru should be trifurcated.

JDS: No

Should Akrama Sakrama be implemented?

BJP: Yes

INC: Yes

JDS: Yes

Should there be a directly elected mayor?

BJP: Yes

INC: If split three-ways, there should be three mayors elected.

JDS: Yes

Should CM have more power than mayor?

BJP: Yes

INC: Yes

JDS: Yes

Independent: Yes

Should CM have power over water supply and other public utilities?

BJP: Yes

INC: Yes

JDS: Yes

What should the Mayor’s tenure be?

BJP: 5 years

INC: 2.5 years

JDS: 5 years

Independent: 5 years

Should at least a part of the revenue generated in the ward, be pumped back into the ward?

INC: Pump funds generated in industrial areas to residential areas. Eventually they will reach people.

JDS: Revenue should come back to the ward.

How will you provide water supply to your ward?

BJP: Cauvery water and drinking water

INC: Cauvery water and drinking water

JDS: Cauvery water and drinking water

Independent: Clean drinking water

How will you stay in touch with your voters?

BJP: I will go to people and allocate time for voters. Our life is dedicated to the people.

INC: I’m not giving pamphlets, I’m giving visiting cards to people. They can contact me anytime.  (This was in response to a question about badly maintained toilets in BBMP parks.)

Independent: People can come to my house until 9 and then I’ll be in my ward.

Closing remarks?

BJP: Whatever development has happened, we will improve on it. 

    • Sanitation
    • Lake development
    • Cleaning and lighting of parks
    • Widening roads
    • Women empowerment through training and small loans
    • Housing for poor
    • Ration cards

INC 

    • Improve garbage management
    • Improve healthcare by improving facilities in existing hospitals
    • Provide drinking water
    • Stop misuse of water that is going on in lakes
    • Women will be able to move around without fear anytime of the day or night  

JDS 

    • Community Halls
    • Parks maintenance
    • Development
    • Drinking water, cauvery water for all.
    • Cleaning of drains
    • Women empowerment through loans. 

Independent

    • Clean drinking water
    • Clean air
    • Create a safe environment
    • Safety for factory workers
    • Uniform for rag pickers

Disclaimer: This is an edited version of the minutes of the meeting sent by NBF. Citizen Matters' staff were not present during the debate.