Namma Metro: a Study

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Bangalore, Karnataka, Namma Metro
  • Pages : 20 (6212 words )
  • Download(s) : 2159
  • Published : July 16, 2010
Open Document
Text Preview

Namma Metro – A Study

Centre for Budget & Policy Studies

Namma Metro – A Study

The Centre for Budget and Policy Studies has been examining government accounts to unravel the real priorities behind government policies. All governments make all kinds of promises. To keep a promise they must raise and spend money. This information is contained in budgets. What a government does, as opposed to what it says it is doing, can be gleaned from this source. But while a budget tells how money is raised [by taxes] and where it is spent, it does not tell us if the money is spent well or wisely. That requires detailed information on how projects and programmes are decided upon and audit to see how they are spent. These are complex issues of political economy. The cost of the Bangalore Metro has been stated to be 6000 crores of rupees, but it is likely to be much more. This money has come from taxes we pay to the union, the state and the city corporation. It also has a loan component from a foreign agency. And it addresses a major issue in the city. There is little doubt that Bangalore needs a mass transit system; it should have got one twenty years ago. Chinmay has documented the protest against the alignment of the Bangalore Metro in the Jayanagar area of Bangalore in mid 2009. He has attended many meetings, met many persons involved, and read the documents available. He has done a remarkable job of presenting an impartial record of what happened. This record merits careful study by all who wish to make an impact on the way large projects are designed and implemented in the country. The report, while detailed and informative, leaves many questions open. How was the Namma Metro designed? Why was the original plan, approved in 2004, confined to the boundaries of the Bangalore of 1981? The north point was Yeshwantpur, near the Indian Institute of Science, and the south point was near Rajalakshmi Nursing Home in Jayanager. By 2004, the city had grown many kilometers on both these sides. The government claimed to have had public consultations. In some formal way this may be true, but the spirit of consultation—meetings in convenient locations, at convenient times, with advance notice and an open agenda—were probably not held. Again, what was the role of the local government--the Bangalore Mahanagar Palike which is an elected city government? Of course it has few powers, but even then it was not consulted. By the time of implementation, its term had expired, a new Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike had been formed, but no elections had been held. To ignore local government in such a large project does not seem wise, to say the least. This is nothing new in India. The civil society is right in saying that proper consultations were not held. Had they been held properly, much of this could have been sorted out. During the protests, it emerged that the alignment that was being protested against was not what was recommended as the optimal one by the Detailed Project Report. Why was the optimal route not accepted? How was it changed? Who was responsible? There are no answers to these questions. The secrecy with which the State functions is undesirable. Openness would have done away with the need for such democratic—yet fruitless—protests that waste the time of many people.


Centre for Budget & Policy Studies, Bangalore

Namma Metro – A Study
There is also the problem in civil society. When the first protests were made in Chinmaya Mission Hospital Road, before construction began, it was an isolated voice. It raised important issues, but they fought a lone battle. Those who led the protest later in Jayanagar knew about the Metro and its alignment, but they kept quiet. Why not join forces and make it a city issue that requires answers? Later when they protest the alignment along Nanda Road, there was no one to come to their aid. They began the protest after construction began; it was too late. The BMRCL...
tracking img