Panels to meet next week, court to be apprised of proceedings
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council passed a resolution on constituting ward committees (WCs) by January 21, as directed by the High Court. It also resolved to allow the government to take a call on empowering the committees and the demand for reservation within them.
At the special meeting called here on Tuesday to discuss the ward committees’ constitution, Kacharakanahalli councillor Padmanabha Reddy said rules and bye-laws stating the committees ambit must be framed as soon as possible. “We will have 2,198 members (198 councillors, 20 nominated councillors and 1,980 ward committee members) working for the city’s uplift.” He, however, pointed out that the High Court had directed the BBMP to constitute the ward committees after it became clear the civic authority failed to resolve the garbage crisis.
‘Must be empowered’
Opposition Leader M.K. Gunashekar said without financial and executive powers, the ward committees would not be able to function as envisaged by the 74th Constitutional Amendment. “True decentralisation of power is possible only if they are given financial and executive powers. Also, each ward committee must have a finance committee to chalk out the financial plan for that particular ward.”
Subhashnagar councillor T. Mallesh urged Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy to seek more time from the court to constitute the committees, particularly when its members should include citizens from residents’ welfare association that have been registered for a minimum three years. “There are some wards without such associations and no alternative has been proposed,” he stated.
More than 100 of the 198 councillors have already submitted the names of the 10 citizens each from their wards to be ward committee members, said Ruling Party Leader N. Nagaraju. A meeting will be convened with all the ward committee members (at the respective wards) on January 19 and 20 and the proceedings submitted to the High Court on January 21.
The BBMP Commissioner, meanwhile, has been empowered to appoint a secretary to frame the bye-laws governing ward committees.
The council earlier mourned the death of Sri Balagangadharanatha Swami of Adichunchanagiri Math, who passed away on Sunday evening and several councillors spoke about their association with the seer.