Demanding a White Paper on the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report on utilisation of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) funds in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Opposition Leader M.K. Gunashekar has urged Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy and Commissioner M. Lakshminarayana to convene a special meeting to discuss the report.
Speaking to reporters here on Monday, he said that the BBMP could take action against the officials and contractors who have caused a loss of Rs. 150 crore as per provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976. “The report has been tabled before the Assembly and will be sent to the Public Accounts Committee. The committee, after going through the report, will send back the report with recommendations to the Assembly. This is a long drawn process. We can discuss what action should be taken in the special meeting,” he said.
Mr. Gunashekar said that the CAG report had once against pointed out the BBMP’s poor financial indiscipline. “Even the CAG report of 2010 had highlighted this by pointing out to the BBMP’s 150 dead bank accounts (accounts with no transactions). According to BBMP’s Chief Accounts Officer, these accounts have still not been closed. This increases the chances of them being misused,” he added.
New Act for city?
Mr. Gunashekar said that the KMC Act, 1976, had become outdated for the BBMP, whose functions were more complicated and different compared to the other seven city corporations in the State. Bangalore contributed over Rs. 60,000 crore to the State exchequer and the city’s population had crossed the one-crore mark. “The city needs an Act on the lines of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act and Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act. The Congress had, in its manifesto, addressed the need for an Act governing the city,” he said.
Earlier, he criticised the BBMP’s education department officials for failing to ensure that free uniforms and sweaters reached the schoolchildren ahead of the academic year. “We are not sure if the education department has even floated the tender for the sweaters and uniforms. Why is the BBMP not keen on protecting the interest of the urban poor?” he asked.