BENNETT, COLEMAN & CO. LTD. | ESTABLISHED 1838 | TIMESOFINDIA.COM | EPAPER.TIMESOFINDIA.COM BANGALORE | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 2010 | PAGES 44 | METRO | PRICE RS 3 (RS 5.50 ALONG WITH THE ECONOMIC TIMES) INCLUDING 6 PAGES OF BANGLAORE TIMES AND 10 PAGES OF ASCENT
A TIMES OF INDIA INITIATIVE MANAGED AND CONCEIVED BY JANAAGRAHA THE TIMES OF INDIA | BANGALORE | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 2010 A unique initiative of The Times of India to monitor the performance of the corporators and hold them accountable to the people TOWARDS ABETTER LIFE TEAM TOI O WHY BANGALORE PATROL n Monday, Bangalore’s seven million resi- dents got to know the identity of the 198 corporators who will preside over their des- The Times of India sees its role as an tiny over the next five years. The BJP has activist member of society, not a won the mandate to deliver good gover- passive reporter of news.Our earlier nance to the citizens.campaigns like Lead India, Teach India and The successful holding of civic elec- tions, in one sense, was the culmination ofUnlock Bangalore have all tried to address a political process. In the other, it marksissues critical to our nation and cities we the beginning of a journey in which theserve. Bangalore Patrol is a vital, new corporators chosen by Bangaloreans get to work on delivering a better quality of lifecampaign in this series. It tries to address the for the people.central lacuna in the way our cities are To ensure that the BBMP poll makes amanaged; the absence of a monitoring difference to the city, to make sure thatsystem with the resulting lack of there’s accountability in the system, to sen- sitise coporators to the needs of Banga-accountability of our civic bodies. loreans, The Times of India is today launch- – Rahul Kansal | DIRECTOR, ing a unique initiative, Bangalore Patrol, THE TIMES OF INDIA BRAND managed and conceived by Janaagraha, an institution that works to improve people’sThe genesis of the idea is about five years quality of life in cities and towns. The primary aim of Bangalore Patrolold. Working in the civic space,we realised is to deliver a better quality of life, in a tan-that while budgets are presented at the city gible, measurable form to the people. Thelevel, not much information is available on campaign will present the corporators with concrete data on five important measuresthe quality of life at the ward level. We also that touch people’s lives on a daily basis:learnt that data on the quality of life at the water, health and sanitation, mobility pub-,ward level is largely anecdotal. The question lic amenities and environment. This willthen was how to measure in a systematic, be captured by the Ward Infrastructure and Services Assessment (WISA) Index devel-objective and scientific way the quality of life oped by Janaagraha. While electricity is will unleash the competitive spirits of the attempted in India by a non-governmental the data, mobilise opinion and put pres-at the ward level? Thats how we came up also a very critical measure, we haven’t in- citizens, corporators and administration agency In fact, it would be fair to say that . sure on the system: corporators, local gov-with the idea of assessing and rating each cluded it in this campaign due to certain leading to the overall betterment in the the kind of data Bangalore Patrol will pres- ernmental bodies to improve the quality technical issues. We might include that in quality of people’s lives. ent is perhaps not even available with the of life of the people of Bangalore.ward on a scale of 10 after collecting data on In the coming weeks, watch this space, the next phase of the campaign. A lot of thought, effort and hard work local governmental bodies. Even as youthe civic status of the ward. Bangalore Patrol will provide all stake- has gone into collating this information. read this, Janaagraha’s ground staff that as we bring you all the data that you need- The aim is to to improve the quality of holders with data for all the five measures To ensure that the data stands upto rigor- has fanned out across the city will be col- ed to know about your ward. The aim Ban- for each of the 198 wards of Bangalore in ous scrutiny Government of India’s bench- , lating data.The data collected under Ban- galore Patrol is to make the impact ofurban life from the grassroots, the smallest terms of say, availability of water, bus marks have been used to assess each of the galore Patrol will be taken to every citizen engagement high resulting in measur-political unit of the ward. stands, bus shelters, public toilets, drainage parameters. of Bangalore. ToI and Janaagraha will hold ableimprovements in the life of the Ramesh Ramanathan | CO-FOUNDER, etc. This in-built provision for comparison An exercise of this kind hasn’t ever been city wide events. The aim is to highlight people of Bangalore. JANAAGRAHA CONNECTING WITH MEASURES THAT MATTER THE CITY TEAM TOI amenities (parks, playgrounds and public toilets) and the environ- AND HOW...A total five parameters that matter ment. most to you as local residents; The ward-wise scores for each scores tracked on a scale of 0 to 10 of these parameters will be decid- TEAM TOI with a final score that will help you ed based on a detailed survey on a determine the quality of infra- total 28 indicators. “Research and he Times of India, Bangalore, has been interfacing structure and services that’s pro- vided to your ward by the local gov- ernment; ability to compare how your ward fares vis a vis a neigh- bouring one in concrete measures. In short, this is the new TOI-Janaa- accumulated experience in deal- ing with citizen issues in the past has helped us in arriving at these main parameters,” said Janaa- graha executives. Everything in your ward counts T with you, the citizen, in the improving public servic- es by launching several initiatives. We have regular- ly devoted space to ways and means of improving life in Bangalore as also leading campaigns on specific is- sues like traffic snarls and quality of roads. In all these exercises, we have got city planners, stakeholders and graha WISA (Ward Infrastructure on this index—right from the qual- citizens’ groups to engage in debates. and Services Assessement) initi- ity and exact quantity of water But Sunday, December 1, 2002, marked a unique atie to change the way you look at supplied to your house to the street- date with civic concern. We had an invited audience civic issues. A way to engage, mo- lights, roads and public transport of about 200 citizens’ representatives armed with loads bilise and put pressure on the sys- in your areas. (See box for the de- of grievances. We pit them against a dozen public tem to deliver quantifiable im- tails). More than 50 people have agency honchos and local corporators on a canopied provements to the quality of life in been already deployed to check on lawn. And give them the green signal to debate issues each and every ward of Bangalore. each of these parameters on of civic concern. That could have been recipe for dis- The ground survey has already ground for each and every ward. cord and uproar. On the contrary, the inaugural ses- started. It has been going on a war The human effort on the sion of Times Connect, an ini- footing for three months now. What ground is being supplemented tiative to bring citizens face to you will get soon are the reliable and authentic scores for the five with adequate technology and equipment like the GIS maps and Times face with the authorities, held in the cool environs of the Ko- main parameters that are being tracked on this unique WISA in- special water pressure monitors. The five categories will be assessed Connect, ramangala Club, saw a spirited dialogue — although vehement dex. under the following four aspects: and impassioned at times. Over The paramaers being mobility, Access, Quality, Reliability Launched the years, we organised about water, health & sanitation, public and Risks. half a dozen more such sessions Almost 8 in various localities in Banga- lore and one meeting in Mysore.WHAT WILL BE MEASURED? FIVE PARAMETERS AND 28 INDICATORS cleanliness of roads, % of road network Years Ago, What was strikingly evident was Bangalore’s growing civic with storm water drains, instances ofG WATER: Deals with municipal water supply G MOBILITY – Coverage of public injuries and deaths due to accidents flooding, access to public toilets and Was A consciousness and public en- gagement, induced by the un-G MOBILITY: Includes motorised (public and transport network, access to information, G WATER SUPPLY – % of quality of public toilets private) and non-motorised (pedestrian and bicycle) frequency, speed of travel, crowding in establishments with water connections, G PUBLIC AMENITIES – Distance to Blockbuster precedented expansion of the city in the last two decades. public transport, avg. cost of travel/km, continuity of supply (no. of hrs/day), transportG HEALTH & SANITATION: Includes sewerage, presence of footpaths with appropriate quality of water supplied and the avg. cost the closest park, sq.m. of park area per 1000 people, distance to the closest Initiative The citizens brought under scrutiny a wide range of com- width and surface condition, of dedicated per capita. playground, sq.m. of playground area per storm water drainage and solid waste management. bicycle lanes, streetlighting conditions, plaints: from piling up of G HEALTH & SANITATION – Access to 1000 peopleG ENVIRONMENT: Air pollution and green cover pedestrian safety at junctions, presence of garbage to rude official dispo- sewerage network, % of households with G ENVIRONMENT – No. of days when sition; traffic bottlenecks to en-G PUBLIC AMENITIES: includes parks, functional signals/ road markings, quality daily door-to-door garbage collection, air polluted beyond recommended limits croachment of public proper- playgrounds and public toilets. of road surface, speed of travel and presence of litter bins on street, and the % of green cover ty and overflowing sewage to non-availability of public trans- port. Encouraging the officials — accompanied by their sub- THE DELIVERABLES ordinates — to provide affir- mative replies and hand out promises with specific dead- lines was our reporting team. H ow do you measure quality of urban life in mean the infrastructure and services in that For sessions that spanned a systematic, objective and scientific way ward are good and if it gets a low score, it just over two hours, taking up so that it actually improves over time? The would mean infrastructure and services are the slew of complaints specif- Times-Janaagraha initiatives Ward Infra- bad, thus necessitating improvement in ically was next to impossible. structure and Services Assessment (WISA) quality of life.The score and the informa- But copies of hundreds of score/Index is one among many ways in tion on the quality of infrastructure and grievances were submitted to which this can be done. services on which the score is based can be the agencies concerned for re- WISA score/index is basically a numer- used by citizens of every ward to compare dressal. Thankfully, the assur- ical assessment and rating of the quality of their wards with other wards and see where ances came. “I’ll put my men on the job this afternoon”; life in each ward on a scale of 10. The score their ward needs to progress. Citizens can “The flyover should be ready in 10 months”; “We’ll at- will tell you whether the ward is doing well present this score to the authorities to ef- tend to that in three days flat...’’ in terms of good water supply mobility good , , fect change. They can act on the score and The debates weren’t without some show of inten- transport, good sanitation, good garbage data by persuading the BBMP or civic sity and sentiment. An Ejipura resident thought the collection and disposal, health and law and agency in question to introduce relevant condition of roads in his locality wasn’t any better order. For instance, if a ward scores 4 on 10 measures where they are needed most. Es- than that of war-torn Afghanistan. A corporator did- on water supply then citizens will want that , sentially the WISA score brings systemat- n’t agree to the demand that roadside hawkers block- to improve to 10 on 10 and can therefore seek ic localised information to citizens, em- ing traffic had to be evicted; he sought to know what measures from the local government body powering them with very specific action- became of the city corporation’s move to provide food to improve water supply conditions. This able data. courts in specific areas. The officials didn’t accept way the WISA score/index will help citi- Authorities, administrators, corporators every complaint with a ready smile and a prompt re- zens track the progress of their ward over can use the WISA index and information to ply They reminded the citizens too of their responsi- . time whether facilities, infrastructure and improve and fine tune civic initiatives. The bilities.All in all, Times Connect was an extension of services from water supply to transport of- WISA score is a good way of incentivising ToI’s proactivity It was indeed an effort to keep an ear . fered in the ward enable a comfortable life. authorities. A good score might mean recog- to the ground on the quality of life in our cities If a ward gets a high overall score it may nition for hardworking officials. and towns.
A TIMES OF INDIA INITIATIVE MANAGED AND CONCEIVED BY JANAAGRAHA THE TIMES OF INDIA | BANGALORE | THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 2010 A CATALYST FOR BETTER URBAN LIFE Bangalore Patrol in broad terms aims to improve Initiative brings out will be certified, formal WISA the quality of urban life from the grassroots, the small- scores that will be published and made public period- est political unit of the ward. In specific terms, the WISA ically, say every six months. It is a certified WISA score score/index will help people track the progress of their because it is based on systematic, objective assessment ward over time in terms of facilities, infrastructure and of scientifically and objectively generated data. The services available in the ward. If a ward scores 5 on 10 wikipedia model we understand requires greater ac- on water supply, then people will want that to improve curacy and so the citizen score will not be a certified to 8 or even 10 and will therefore seek measures from one until we achieve that accuracy But it enables some . the local government body to improve water supply con- sort of direct participation of the people in generating ditions. Each ward can compare itself with other wards an informal score. And as for their role in generating and see where it needs to progress depending on the the certified WISA score, people will give us informa- score it gets for infrastructure and services. WISA aims tion about their wards in addition to our independent to be a systematic metric by which people assess their examination of data on each ward. Such systematic col- wards and they can do many things with this - present lection of data from people means that people are in- this score or metric to the authorities to effect change, volved in the WISA generation. As for authorities, they and also working as community groups to improve their can be of great help in giving us access to data on wards areas. Ultimately we are looking at the transformation how wards have been performing. Infact we have had of each ward in the quality of life it offers to people , very good co-operation from authorities and theyve and thereby transformation in the quality of life in the been open to our idea of an assessment. They have overall city . shared information with us on civic status. In all WISA will be a participative venture of people and govern- How do you see the WISA score/Index changing Banga- ment. lore over time? The score will fundamentally help us understand the How will WISA index directly benefit citizens and author- gaps in the ward what is missing and what needs pri- ities on an overall level? ority Once citizens have the score and the correspon- . The WISA score/index is a mirror to each ward citi- Bangalore Patrol, a Times of India initiative is managed and conceived by Janaagraha. The initiative envisions an improvement in the quality of life for Bangalore’s citizens. How would one measure the quality of life? How would one understand quality of life itself? Janaagraha co-founder and civic strategist Ramesh Ramanathan explains the concept of quality of life in an urban setting, its attributes and how it can be measured and improved through an actionable index or programme called the Ward Infrastructure and Services Assessment (WISA). Ramesh explains how the Bangalore Patrol will be at the heart of urban Bangalore’s transformation. EXCERPTS FROM AN INTERVIEW TEAM TOI ding data in their hands, they can do many things with zens can look at the score and say what does my ward this - present this to the authorities and seek relevant look like, what needs to change in my ward and how What should we understand by quality of life in an urban allocations.. For example, if a certain ward has good much has my ward changed over time. It can be a very setting and how do we measure it? roads, but bad water supply, the score will help citizens useful ward report card that citizens can look into to Quality of life in an urban setting is the quality of in- as well as BBMP to focus on water supply Community . judge the quality of their life in their immediate vicin- frastructure and services that people enjoy and experi- groups and leaders can mobilise opinion and authori- ity the ward. Once you measure something, you can ence beginning from the bottom the ward. For instance ties to go in for targeted solutions to problems in a ward. manage it better. That classical principle of manage- do people enjoy good water supply, roads, good trans- We can also take the ward-level scores to get the over- ment applies to the ward measure your ward and you portation, good sanitation and garbage disposal? We all picture about quality of life in Bangalore and this can manage it better. Authorities, administrators, cor- measure the urban quality of life by measuring the qual- can then be compared with that of Chennai for instance, porators can use the WISA index and information to ity of these infrastructure and services. And we meas- thereby comparing quality of life not just across wards, improve and fine tune civic initiatives. The WISA score ure it by what we call the Ward Infrastructure and Ser- but across cities as well. is also a great incentive to authorities if a ward is do- vices Assessment (WISA). ing very well on many counts, water, roads, mobility, How will the Bangalore Patrol involve citizens and BBMP then it means the officials in that ward are doing a good How and why did the idea of Ward Infrastructure and Ser- civic authorities? job. A good score might mean recognition of the efforts vices Assessment (WISA) of measuring the civic progress As I said, once citizens have the score for a ward and of honest, hardworking officials. There are a lot many at the ward level come up? the related data, they can then act on the data they can people like that but they go unrecognised lost in the big The genesis of the idea is about five years old. Working persuade the BBMP or civic agency in question to in- system as they are. The score will bring them into the in the civic space,we realised that while budgets are pre- troduce relevant measures where they are needed most. public domain. WISA will incentivise officials, ad- sented at the city level, not much information is avail- Residents can compare the score of their ward with ministrators and corporators. able on the quality of life at the ward level. We also learnt scores of other wards and get to know what they lack that data on the quality of life at the ward level is large- and what they benefit from. Essentially the WISA score How would you describe the role of this entire initiative ly anecdotal. The question then was how to measure in brings systematic localised information to citizens, em- in transforming urban quality of life? a systematic, objective and scientific way the quality of powering them with very specific actionable data. The No one initiative can be a complete solution. In that life at the ward level? Thats how we came up with the data is no longer hearsay or anecdotal or incidental. Au- sense, Bangalore Patrol is a piece of a puzzle. We hope idea of assessing and rating each ward on a scale of 10 thorities on their part can embrace the idea of WISA, that it can be a catalyst of better urban life, first in Ban- after collecting data on the civic status (water, mobili- evaluate it and if they find that it is an honest, objec- galore and then other cities in India. ty/transport, sanitation, solid waste management) of tive assessment of the health of ward, they can then al- the ward using rigorous, objective methods. We decided locate resources accordingly . Will you be taking this initiative to other cities in due course? to give a score to each ward on a scale of 10 - what we We are planning to do so. We have now launched it in call the WISA Index after assessing its civic status. A Can there be a direct participation of the people in gener- Bangalore and will begin to extend the same to major ward might score 5, 6, 8 or even 9 on 10 depending on the ating the WISA index/score? Or even that of the authori- cities in the country. quality of infrastructure and service it is offering to cit- ties? izens. By the score, citizens will be easily able to make At this stage we have envisaged a Wikipedia like mod- Your thoughts on the Toi-Janaagraha alliance out where their ward stands in terms of facilities offered el for citizens who can give their own, personal scores While there is certainly need for a good and well de- and how the ward compares with other wards. WISA in for their wards. We will have a website from which they signed civic programme that measures the quality of simple terms is a score on a scale of 10 for the quality of can download forms and give their assessment of the life through good content/indicators, there is also the life in a ward. The score is an index, an objective meas- conditions in their wards based on the infrastructure vital need for distribution and outreach. We may have urement of the quality of life at the ward level. We have and services we have marked for assessment. This score the model to change quality of life but we have to touch worked systematically over the last three years and in can almost be a weekly citizen score on the status of the the people. The Times of India is not just the biggest very rigorous ways to arrive at the score/index. ward but this will be informal and based on the data media house, but a long-standing votary of better civic submitted by people. So their participation is direct in life. The Times commitment to the civic is one of the What is the vision of Bangalore Patrol? What is it aiming terms of generating personal, informal scores for their most enduring. In that sense, the partnership is an in- to achieve? specific neighbourhoods. But the WISA score that the evitable one.Bangalore Patrol gets a HUGE WELCOME TEAM TOI deliver, we monitor. We the citizens should remind the corporators that winning the election is only half the battle won. The realT he Times of India’s initiative managed and conceived by challenge begins now not only for them but for us too. Electing a Janaagraha Centre to monitor the coporators’ performance corporator is not enough, we have to make sure he fulfils his has met with an overwhelming response. From citizens to promises too. Thus, both of us have equally challenging roles to play. resident welfare associations (RWAs), the kudos came in Usha G Rao | TOIREADER thick and fast with hope expressed that it would positively impact the quality of life for the people of Bangalore. G I think it is a good initiative. TOI has been spearheading a lot of peopleinitiatives. We RWAs will definitely support it with all that we G Bangalore Patrol is a great initiative. I will be can. But, in this context, it requires a total involvement of all the happy to support it not just as an individual but civic authorities as well. Ultimately, they have the power to execute. also as part of the ABIDe team. We have the exact figures now. R K Misra | ABIDE (AGENDA FOR BENGALURU Brigadier Murthy | HSR SECTOR-2 RWA INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT) MEMBER G It is a good initiative. We welcome it. TOI and Janaagraha have G It’s a good initiative and it is perfectly timed. It comes at a been working on these issues at the grassroot level for quite time when we finally have a new council. In fact, we had sometime. I am confident that there will be absolute transparency benefited immensely from the previous Times Connect initiative and accountability in all the areas and all aspects of development as well. that happens in the city. The involvement of the two big organisations and people participation can enable a concrete vision Sumati Rao | MEMBER OF MALLESWARAM SWABHIMANA INITIATIVE for development. We as RWA members would like to co-operate and G It’s good and very motivating initiative that has been taken up involve ourselves in the development of the city. Likewise the new by TOI. We as RWAs are ready to support the initiative in every council should also involve the people at all levels. possible way. Such steps should be encouraged by all Pradeep Kumar Reddy | FEDERATION OF FRAZER TOWN RWAS Bangaloreans. G My God. It’s a fantastic initiative. WISA is a very good way to go N Mukund | CAF (CITIZEN’S ACTION FORUM) MEMBER ahead. Especially at a time when the government almost cheated us G It is truly laudable that TOI-Janagraha has launched Bangalore with continuous power cuts post the elections. The collaboration of Patrol. People should whole heartedly cooperate and join hands TOI and Janaagraha makes the WISA index more reliable, reachable with this new campaign. They should unite and form groups in and useful. There should be power parameter as well. The use of their wards and collectively monitor the working of BBMP. RWAs manpower and technology is laudable. We will also be have an important role to play. There has to be a mass talking to the our people and work out on ways movement, a revolution of sort, if we want to arrest further how we can also contribute to make such decay and deterioration of this once beautiful city. The slogan initiatives successful. for the public should be: Be on your toe and keep the corporator T Vidyadhar | MEMBER OF TRI-WARD FEDERATION OF on his. And a word of warning to the elected representatives: you ASSOCIATIONS IN RT NAGAR