Power to the People? A Study of Bangalore’s Urban Task Forces

Neha Sami | 16 August 2013


This chapter examines the role that power structures and political networks play in urban governance processes in India and how elite urban actors mobilise to take advantage of economic and political conditions in order to attain particular goals. The chapter focuses on two elite taskforces — the Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF) and its successor, the Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure Development (ABIDe) — which the Karnataka state government created to shape Bangalore’s future development agenda. Using these taskforces as an example, the author demonstrates how government officials (in this case, consecutive chief ministers of Karnataka) used personal social networks to mobilise powerful elite groups in a coalition to pursue specific economic and developmental goals (for example, making Bangalore more attractive to foreign and domestic investment).