Peeved over what it says is Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda's “callous” attitude towards the civic problems of Peenya Industrial Area, the Peenya Industries Association (PIA) is planning a daylong bandh shortly.
PIA members, who are also demanding exemption from obtaining BBMP's trade licence, are thinking of stopping payment of property tax and solid waste management cess to the BBMP besides exploring legal options.
PIA president Balasubramanyam S. told The Hindu on Thursday that members were unhappy that although Commissioner Gowda, along with Mayor Sharadamma inspected the area on Thursday, he did nothing to resolve their civic problems. Urban Development Minister S. Suresh Kumar, who was also supposed to accompany them, did not turn up.
“The Commissioner sternly told us that trade licence exemption could not be given as the rule was applicable to all. We have been demanding exemption as we are already burdened with the cumbersome processes of obtaining various other licences to run our industries,” Mr. Balasubramanyam said.
“We brought to Mr. Gowda's notice that our area is becoming a dumping ground for garbage. Irregular clearance has resulted in heaps of garbage piling up on the roadside, causing health hazards for our employees. But the Commissioner said the garbage was generated by the industries and hence had to be cleared by the PIA itself. Are we not entitled to basic amenities when we pay tax to the palike?” Mr. Balasubramanyam said. The association will soon convene a meeting to decide what to do next. “We are planning to call for a bandh and stop paying tax to the BBMP. A final decision will be taken during the meeting,” he said.
Pointing out that there are more than 6,000 industries in and around Peenya Industrial Area (4,500 of which are registered with the PIA), the president said: “The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector is one of the strongest sectors of the economy where attention from the government authorities is imperative. While more than five lakh people work in this sector, we pay crores of rupees to the State service providers such as the BBMP and Bescom for civic amenities. But in return, we are deprived of basic infrastructure such as garbage clearance or uninterrupted power supply,” Mr. Balasubramanyam pointed out.