Seventh edition of ‘MyCityMyBudget’ campaign flagged off in Bengaluru

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The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and NGO Janaagraha with the support of Bengaluru Ward Samiti Balaga (a coalition of citizens to strengthen Ward Committees), and members of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) launched the seventh edition of ‘MyCityMyBudget’ 2023-24 campaign at the civic body’s head office Thursday.

A ‘budget bus’ was flagged off on the occasion by Special Commissioner (Finance) Jayaram Raipur.

The campaign is an annual participatory budgeting initiative, started by Janaagraha in collaboration with the BBMP in 2015. The campaign will run for a period of 30 days. Citizens can submit their budget inputs online by visiting www.mycitymybudget.in or through the budget bus which will visit all the wards in the coming days. The specific budget inputs collected will then be analyzed, work estimates prepared for each input, and submitted to the BBMP for budgeting (allocation of funds) in the upcoming city budget 2023-24.

“MyCityMyBudget is an important campaign for the BBMP as it helps collate the inputs of citizens on how the city budget needs to be spent. We appreciate the initiative of Janaagraha as the citizen inputs will be helpful while planning the budget. The budget bus will be visiting different wards across the city and I request citizens to submit their inputs,” said Raipur.

Srinivas Alavilli from Janaagraha said, “Every single rupee spent by the BBMP belongs to the people of Bengaluru. BBMP’s unique participatory budget programme, MyCityMyBudget, gives voice to all citizens in the making of the city budget with the basic premise that the people should know what the biggest problems are and their input is critical in making a realistic budget. This year, we are extremely pleased to see hundreds of individuals and organisations coming together as Bengaluru Ward Samiti Balaga to strengthen ward committees. When budget allocations are monitored by ward committees, better outcomes will happen.”

Vidya Goggi of Bangalore Apartments’ Federation (BAF) said: “We have successfully partnered for ‘MyCityMyBudget’ in two years. Our member apartment associations and residents have actively provided budget inputs for the wards they are located in. At the same time, their participation in Ward Committees has also seen a rise. We see this collaboration as Ward Samiti Balaga strengthening and BAF members will contribute very significantly to the local governance, a key to a better future for the city.”

“Whitefield Rising is happy to partner with the BBMP and through Ward Samiti Balaga, other city public groups to kick off MyCityMyBudget. Mahadevapura residents are active participants in the Ward Committees and are greatly encouraged by the regularisation of the meetings every month. For the last two years, residents have enthusiastically participated in the MyCityMyBudget initiative which aims to gather inputs from across the city before the BBMP makes its allocations for the year. We hope along with this continued collaboration, the chief commissioner will simultaneously provide timely and transparent information about the actual expenditure and strengthen Ward Committee processes so that the budget can translate into real progress on projects on the ground…” said Anjali S, member of Whitefield Rising.

Whitefield Rising is a collective of residents across the 13 wards of Mahadevapura Zone.

In the 2022-23 campaign, 7,238 budget inputs were provided by citizens. For the year 2023-24, campaign organisers said they will focus on collecting budget inputs from citizens, with a special focus on roads and footpaths, street lights, rainwater harvesting, and solid waste management, which will also be micro-interventions to tackle climate change.