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Updated: April 13, 2010 16:57 IST

‘I don't see any conflict of interest emerging'

Laiqh A. Khan
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The successful conclusion of the much-delayed elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council will pave the way for the transfer of decision-making authority from the government-appointed administrator to the newly elected council after a lapse of almost three-and-a-half years.

But, the style of functioning of BBMP officials, who enjoyed a fair degree of autonomy in executing development works ever since the term of the erstwhile Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) ended in November 2006, will now come under the scrutiny of the newly elected corporators.

BBMP Commissioner Bharat Lal Meena does not foresee the possibility of conflict of interest emerging between the officials and corporators as long as public good is kept in mind.

In an interview with The Hindu, he said an elected council will help the civic body discharge its duties more efficiently.

Excerpts:

Are BBMP officials wary of dealing with the newly elected corporators?

There is no need for them to be wary. There have been elected councils in the past. The presence of elected representatives will help pinpoint lacunae in the civic services and help in efficient discharge of duties.

However, there should be co-ordination between officials and elected representatives. I don't see any possibility of conflict of interest emerging as long as public good is kept in mind.

But the officials are worried about the pressure that will be brought upon them?

If there is pressure on them (officials) for doing something illegal, they (corporators) simply can't be obliged.

The number of corporators has almost doubled this time compared to the previous body. Many have been elected from newly added areas.

It will be a learning experience for the officials as well as the newly elected corporators. However, officials must discharge their duties and give no scope for complaints.

There have been rumours that the BBMP's financial health is weak. Your comments.

There is no problem to pay salaries and carrying out routine works. It is manageable. However, the revenue to be raised from property tax has fallen short as the civic body did not press for collection in the last two or three months in view of the polls.

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