May 24, 2011

”Namma Mane Police” - a wonderful initiative

Yesterday I was in Mysore to attend a program. It was a program with a difference organized by the Mysore Police. The Project titled "NAMMA MANE  POLICE" (which meant our home police or our police) is the initiative pursued by my cabinet colleague, the Medical Education Minister Sri Ramdas. He has the inspiration of Gujrat model where a similar initiative has been taken by its Government.

This enterprising adventure by Mr Ramdas has benevolent desires. Police force most of the time is falsely viewed as less people friendly. The communication between the law protectors and the common man is something badly desired in order to have a healthy Society which in turn brings down the crime rate. This program was a step in that direction. 
The key features of this program are as follows:

> Every 200 houses will have one police constable taking care of. Two teachers will assist him and survey each house of his jurisdiction to collect various details in a comprehensive format.

> They will find out if any boy/girl below the age of 15 years in that house is staying back at home or working somewhere instead of  attending the school.

> This team ideally termed as 'Akshara-Aarakshaka' meaning the alphabet-police, will take necessary steps to enroll all those children completing 5 years to nearby schools.

> Education department, Mysore Zilla Panchayath have joined hands with the police department's ambitious project. Stickers containing the name of the police constable assigned to that particular house, his photo, his phone no, his station phone no, control room no, ambulance-helpline no, etc will be fastened to each house. Around 800 police constables from mysore city and 460 constables from rural my sore are enlisted for this 'movement'.

>Each team shall sit minimum 10 minutes in each house to get the details. The details include even the names of persons who have vacated houses and new persons who have occupied.

> Each constable is given a new mobile set, courtesy the Zilla Panchayath which has sponsored. Each constable is also given computer training to key in the data.

> THE best part of it is on the first of June, every member of this big team (from the Minister In-charge to gram panchayat member, police, teachers) will accompany the children in their respective allotted areas to schools as it will be the first day of this academic year.
While speaking at the function, I was telling in a lighter vein, that many of these people might not have accompanied their children even once to the schools in their lives and will be doing so for the society through this programme. I don't know if their own children will be happy or upset after learning about this assignment.

> Thus, each house will have a police constable who will become almost a family member because of this frequent interaction and each police will have a definite block, where he will be the guardian.

The whole senate hall of manasa gangothri in mysore, was full of beaming police constables who were rearing to go to their respective slots with those formats and the newly possessed mobiles. This is a real innovative initiative that can really change the image of the police. Last year too, mysore police earned laurels in their deft handling the massive dasara crowd with their people friendly attitude. I was very happy to inaugurate this unique programme that too immediately after one full week of tensions, courtesy Raj Bhavan. AND I said, go ahead Mysore Police, the whole state will definitely emulate you. My complements to Sri Ramdas who brought this idea from Gujarath and Sri Sunil Agarwal-the Police Commissioner of Mysore who is spearheading the implementation.


May 23, 2011

Karnataka deserves a better public life

After 8 days of speculations, the Centre's Cabinet Committee for Political Affairs chaired by Prime Minister rejected the Karnataka Governor's recommendation to impose President's Rule in the state. And rightly so. This decision Not to disturb a duly elected government with clear cut majority, on the day when UPA was observing it's second Anniversary deserves a big applause.

It should become a moment of introspection for the political parties of Karnataka in general. Common man feels betrayed by these regular events which take the state to the brink of instability. The manner in which we,the political groups try to impose our agenda through public demonstrations is totally disliked by the people of the state. Especially the vocabulary used in our public discourse  leaves the public aghast. If we do not exhibit responsibility and restraint in our utterances and programmes, the public image of conventional politician will go down still.

When all other fields are trying their best to show some or the other type of innovation why we, as a class are not thinking in that direction. It is the time to ponder seriously by all the political parties, whether in power or in opposition about the way to regain the public approval by our behavior.

This State of ours definitely deserves a better, decent, enlightened public life which can take our state's esteem higher.


May 12, 2011


Yesterday, I had an useful interaction with Mr. Ajit Singh, the consul general of Singapore. Mr Ajit Singh, who is on a mission to explore collaborations with certain states of India in Urban development scenario virtually took me around Singapore right through our discussion. Incidentally, I have not seen Singapore till today.
Singapore has identified 6 states in India, where that city-nation wants to work in close collaboration with our Country. Especially in urban initiatives, such collaborations will definitely help. One or two things as explained by Mr. Singh - I felt – deserved to be shared with you.

a) Singapore gets water from Malaysia as of now. The city nation apprehends that, serious interruptions in water supply may occur  due to probable differences of equations between the two countries. In order to contain the serious problems, that may arise, Singapore has decided that after 2016, when the present agreement with the neighboring country comes to an end, the same WILL NOT BE renewed. Instead, it is taking serious steps to launch its own water schemes. Singapore doesn’t have perennial source of water. Then how can they feed their people? Where would they get water when the same is stopped from Malaysia?

Singapore will produce its own drinking water! But How?  The waste water after tertially treated will be taken to the reservoirs. The water after further treatment in the reservoirs will be made potable. The process is termed osmosis. Then Singapore will become self-sufficient in this sector too.

b) The traffic management in Singapore is of high standard. In fact, I learnt that Bangalore Police have studied Singapore model to implement with necessary local improvements. There, depending upon the traffic flow the signal lights get synchronized and the timings get adjusted.

c) The steps taken to have a control over the number of private vehicles is also worth considering. Each year, Singapore Govt will announce the number of new cars that will be allowed on the roads in that particular year. That will be rationed on a monthly basis. To get permission to purchase a new car, one should participate in a sort of auction process and whoever will become a successful bidder, can only go for a new car. This is unique in a sense. But yes, the public transport system there is excellent.

The population of Singapore is around 5 million, whereas Bangalore has crossed 9 million as per the latest census figures available. One cannot easily compare our situation here with them. Their stringent laws, the low percentage of below the poverty line section, economic vibrancy and last but not the least, the responsible citizen are also factors to be reckoned with.

A Bangalorean, when visits Singapore think that it is his Fundamental DUTY to follow their rules, regulations as long as he stays. BUT, the moment he lands in Bengaluru International Airport, he feels that it is his Fundamental RIGHT to flout all rules, regulations here. The system and the citizen-both-should be ready to change.  It is easy to speak about and envy with Singapore. But it is surely difficult to take necessary steps to become one. One of our CMs had announced that Bangalore will be made another Singapore but that dream could not come through. Governments alone would not be responsible.


May 07, 2011


The Urban Development Department of Karnataka is in the news again for all the good reasons. Karnataka stands tall at No 1 position in introducing reforms in urban local bodies. Among big cities of the Country Bangalore and Mysore rank among the first five cities introducing several initiatives to improve basic public facilities. It’s a proud moment for me being the minister in charge for the Urban development Department. A report in Deccan Herald dated 07-05-2011 is here.