Amidst pandemonium by protesting councillors from the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), the ruling party approved various works for the city, including multi-level parking facilities, at the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council meeting on Saturday.
The situation turned controversial as all budget proposals have to be approved by their respective Standing Committees. These panels have not been constituted yet.
It all began when Leader of the Opposition M. Nagaraj raised the issue of delay in forming the Standing Committees. “According to Section 6 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act 1976, the Council is complete only if the Standing Committees, Council and Commissioner are in place. The Standing Committees should have been formed soon after the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor. We have already lost two months. Unless they are formed, we will not allow discussion on any subject,” he said.
At this, all the 67 Congress councillors and 15 JD(S) councillors rushed to the well and raised slogans against the Government. Mayor S.K. Nataraj's attempts to bring order fell on deaf ears.
In the mêlée, ruling party leader B.S. Sathyanarayana tried to read out a resolution saying all the subjects to be tabled before the Council had been approved. Mr. Nagaraj and other councillors snatched the paper and tore it. Undeterred, Mr. Sathyanarayana took out another copy of the resolution and read it out in the midst of the slogan shouting. Some 43 infrastructure projects, estimated to be around Rs. 2,000 crore, were approved despite stiff opposition. The Mayor adjourned the meeting, but was prevented from leaving by a few women councillors.
Some of the approved projects include improvement of markets, lake development, signal-free corridors and construction of complex-cum-parking lots. The controversial proposal to have underground parking complexes at playgrounds was dropped. The BDA will facilitate signal-free corridors from Sirsi Circle to Agara Lake and Cubbon Road to Ring Road; road-widening of Mekhri Circle to Hessarghatta (wherever necessary), Magadi Road to Tumkur Road and Hosur Road to Kodihalli (NH4); grade separator at Kanakapura Road and BCC Layout Junction; and elevated corridor between High Grounds and Hebbal Flyover and Sirsi Circle and BHEL.
Later, speaking to presspersons, Mayor Nataraj said he had no other option but to adjourn the meeting and criticised the councillors for creating the uproar. “We approved the projects in the interest of the public,” he said, denying they were approved in a hurry. Decisions on issues discussed on Friday would be taken within the next 15 days. In the wake of allegations levelled against the legal cell, S.G. Hosur, adviser and retired district judge, has tendered his resignation. However, the Mayor said, it would not be accepted.