Bangalore today is faced with several issues-ranging from messy sewerage disposal to poorly light roads. In the face of such issues, a civic leader would want to propose and implement solutions by communicating with city governmental officials. In order to implement her project proposals, the civic leader must coordinate with several organizations, stakeholders and contractors-it is a tough row to hoe.
For example, if the citizen wants a park to be developed in her locality, she needs to first map out the universe of organizations and the people who are involved in the park’s development.
The leader would have to specifically approach the different organizations, who would be the owners of various sections of the park. The projects department of BBMP would be the first point of contact for the citizen to seek approval for the development of a park and land allocation, among other operational details. The Horticulture and Forest departments of BBMP would oversee the planting of the shrubs and trees in the land allocated by BBMP. The BWSSB would play a pivotal role in ensuring the supply of water via pipes or by sanctioning the drilling of a bore well within the park. The citizen would also have to rope in the BESCOM to keep the walkways in the park well illuminated.
It is important for the citizen to identify the stakeholders of the operation. In the case of the park’s development, the stakeholders would be the owners, the families , the residences, offices and shops in the area surrounding the park, the users of the road-both vehicle commuters and pedestrians, among others. The citizen would do well to spread awareness among the stakeholders to generate public support in favour of the park’s development.
The citizen must also develop a rapport with the officials overseeing the various operations involved in the development of the park. This will allow her to seek out the specific officers and report to them in the event that issues crop up in the setting up of the park.
The contractors and on the ground workers are crucial players in the implementation of the project. Ground realities sometimes might be in stark difference to the plans on paper; awareness of such issues will allow the leader to approach the specific overseeing officers to ease bottlenecks. By keeping regular tabs on their work, she can ensure the completion of the project.
The sequence of work in the project is also crucial to the project’s success. In the development of the park, for example, it is important to sufficiently plan out the location of the trees and the lights so that the trees do not act as obstructions to the lighting in the park.
The civic leader and her team must, therefore, involve all the players of the game-the owners, the stakeholders, the overseeing officers, the action-takers and most importantly, the sequence of actions in the implementation of the project. It is important for the leader to understand that city leadership is a long drawn affair, requiring immense patience and artfulness.
This was covered by Subbiah in the B.CLIP classroom sessions.