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BBMP told to set up ward committees

Special Correspondent
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High Court sets January 21 deadline

UNRESOLVED:The court said absence of the ward committees perhaps contributed to the city’s garbage crisis.
UNRESOLVED:The court said absence of the ward committees perhaps contributed to the city’s garbage crisis.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council will have to hold a special session on January 15 to constitute ward committees (WCs) and nominate members to them after the Karnataka High Court on Thursday set January 21 as deadline to make the WCs functional in all the 198 wards.

The court passed the order during the hearing on the public interest litigation (PIL) petitions complaining about the city’s garbage.

Modifying its January 8 order directing the government to nominate members to WCs, a Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice B.V. Nagarathna asked the BBMP to constitute the WCs as mandated by the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act.

The WCs are to be headed by the respective councillors.

The Bench also noted that the 2011 amendments to the KMC Act effective from August 1, 2011, vests the WCs with many responsibilities, including “ensuring proper solid waste management (SWM) and sanitation work in the ward and finalise location of new public sanitation units”.

Absence of WCs, which have to be set up as per Article 243S of the Constitution, perhaps contributed to the garbage crisis, the court said, refusing to grant 15 days for the BBMP to convene the meeting to constitute WCs.

Following this, BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah, who was present in the court, said that meeting would be convened on January 15.

Instruction

The Bench also orally instructed the Commissioner to nominate those interested in working for a public cause as members of the WCs and that there was no need to grant any privileges such as vehicles, offices and so on.

Meanwhile, BVG India Ltd., the agency that bagged 50 of the 89 garbage clearance packages, on Thursday indicated to the court it may settle only for 20 packages and give up the remaining 30.

This submission was made by the agency’s counsel during the hearing on the petitions of other contractors challenging the validity of the new tenders.


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