Water and Sanitation Problem in Nagawara ward; A Case study


Organizational Details: CIVIC Bangalore works on urban governance and to bring Public Participation and Accountability into the system. It is facilitating urban poor to access better service delivery in basic services. CIVIC closely works with Bangalore Water supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for improving service delivery with respect to water and sanitation. RTI is used as effective tool in its work. CIVIC is currently tracking ‘Slum development component’ of ‘Japanese International Cooperative Agency (JICA) project’ of Rs 3384 crore that is being implemented by BWSSB. This project says that 362 slums of Bangalore are to be provided with free water and sanitation connections.

Location: The case study is from Nagawara ward (Ward 23) of Bangalore. It is lacking adequate water supply and proper sewerage connections. Many houses don’t even have toilets.

Collaborating with Nagawara Residents Welfare Association (NRWA), local peoples committee, CIVIC started working in Nagawara from May 2012. The work was started by focus group discussions and door to door sample data collection on service delivery. The data analysis revealed that the area is facing severe problem regarding water supply and sanitation. CIVIC based on this data, listed critical problems and approached BWSSB officials and asked to resolve them. Primarily officials responded but as the local leader, husband of the corporator opposed the activity of CIVIC and NRWA, they stopped responding. The leader felt the organizational activity is superseding his power.

The leader is asking community and NRWA not to support CIVIC but to approach him when they have problems. But NRWA and community have lost confidence in him as they received only assurances from him.

With this conflict, BWSSB officials stopped acting on CIVIC’s complaints and grievances. CIVIC tried to negotiate with the Corporator and her husband to resolve the problem, but was futile. The leader refused to have discussion with CIVIC.

CIVIC wrote letter to Chief Engineer of BWSSB and requested to look into the issue. The Chief Engineer responded to the letter and instructed officials to resolve the problems identified. To the directions of Chief engineer, the officials responded quickly and two bore wells that were under the jurisdiction of BWSSB were repaired. Along with this efforts CIVIC, tried to empower the community and asked them to demand the local leader to respond to their grievances. The community then invited the local MLA, and presented the reluctance of the leader with regarding development of ward and also in resolving problems. As per the directions of MLA, now councilor too obliged to the requests and a bore well which was under the control of BBMP is also repaired. This has resolved the drinking water problem to some extent.

Currently CIVIC is trying to have dialogues with the leader and Corporator and make them understand the problems of the community and what CIVIC wishes to do.