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BBMP’s Plea for CSR Engagement: Elevating Bengaluru’s Urban Landscape

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Bengaluru Road
 
In a move to foster public-private collaboration for urban enhancement, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has formally extended an invitation for Expressions of Interest (EoIs) from various sectors, including corporates, IT companies, builders, and developers. The aim is to encourage their active participation and contribution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds dedicated to the maintenance of the sprawling TenderSURE roads. These roads, with a combined length of 13 km, are strategically located in Bengaluru’s central business district and have become the focal point of BBMP’s ambitious ‘Namma Raste’ initiative.

Namma Raste Program

The ‘Namma Raste’ program unfolds as a comprehensive strategy, focusing on a myriad of maintenance tasks with the overarching goal of enhancing both the aesthetic appeal and functionality of TenderSURE roads. These initiatives encompass deep cleaning of interlocking cobblestones on footpaths, meticulous painting or replacement of bollards for bicycle lanes, the nurturing of green hedges adorned with ornamental plants, proactive replacement of broken drainage gratings, systematic clearing of silt deposits from stormwater drains, timely repair of burnt-out streetlights, and the introduction of additional features to elevate the overall visual appeal of these vital urban arteries.

Funding Dynamics and CSR Allocation

Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath has stated that the selected roads are situated in commercial areas, particularly designated TenderSURE roads with pre-existing beautification initiatives. Nath underlined the potential for heightened service levels with private sector engagement. He specified that the EoIs are deliberately confined to TenderSURE roads, concentrating on the maintenance of footpaths, medians, and greenery, excluding responsibilities related to the main carriageway or pothole filling.
In addressing inquiries about the appropriateness of utilising CSR funds for road maintenance, Nath asserted that companies in the city are already actively participating in beautification projects. Furthermore, he emphasised that road safety is inherently encompassed within CSR activities, rendering it a valid category for CSR fund utilisation. While companies retain the flexibility to choose the funds they allocate, adherence to BBMP’s stipulated norms becomes imperative for any road maintenance activities conducted under the Namma Raste program.

Corporate Reflections and Reservations

Despite the positive trajectory of BBMP’s initiative, some corporate representatives have voiced reservations regarding the redirection of CSR funds toward road maintenance, asserting that this is primarily the responsibility of BBMP. Concerns have been articulated regarding transparency in the city’s annual spending and the urgent need for more accountable governance. Sirkanth Narasimhan, BNP founder, and general secretary echoed these sentiments, underscoring the critical need for open and transparent governance to ensure the sustainable development of the city.

Conclusion

BBMP’s call for help with the ‘Namma Raste’ initiative is a positive move toward improving the city. It signifies a collaborative effort between the government and companies, working together for the betterment of Bengaluru.
This initiative goes beyond fixing roads; it’s about enhancing the city’s overall quality. Let’s embrace this positive change and look forward to a Bengaluru that continues to progress and thrive.