The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Union and the State governments over the transfer of planning functions to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), as mandated under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), has been violated, alleged Leader of Opposition in the BBMP Council M.K. Gunashekar.
He told presspersons here on Tuesday that as per the 2005 MoU, the planning functions, including drafting Comprehensive Development Plan, Revised Master Plan and zoning regulations, had to be transferred to the BBMP from the Bangalore Development Authority by 2008-2009, the fourth year of JNNURM implementation. “In fact, after the MoU, the Cabinet also accorded its approval in 2007. However, the planning functions are yet to be transferred,” he said.
He said urban planning, including town planning, was also part of 12th Schedule, Article 243 W of the Constitution. “By not transferring the planning functions, the government has violated not just its own Cabinet decision, the MoU, but also the Constitution,” he added.
Though the 12th Schedule lists out the mandatory functions of the urban local bodies, such as planning social and economic development, slum improvement, urban poverty alleviation among other, Mr. Gunashekar, however, pointed out that important functions, especially urban poverty alleviation, have been included in the discretionary functions and not obligatory duties. He said he would write to Union Minister for Urban Development S. Jaipal Reddy regarding the violation of the MoU, besides raising it in the BBMP council.
Lamenting the lack of transparency in preparation of budget, Mr. Gunashekar said that guidelines prescribed under the Karnataka Local Fund Authorities Fiscal Responsibilities Act, 2003, were being violated in the BBMP. “As per the Act, the BBMP should meet with citizens groups and non-governmental organisations at least twice and seek suggestions regarding the budget. This has not been followed for the past three years,” he charged.
He added that the councillors had received only budget meeting notice so far. The budget for 2012-13 is to be presented on Thursday.