S. Rajendran

Government approves publication of draft notification on delimitation of wards; objections called for

Each new ward will have a population of around 50,000

Draft notification will be valid for 45 days

Bangalore: Elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council is round the corner with the Government approving the publication of the draft notification relating to the delimitation of wards within the limits of the BBMP.

Sources in the Government told The Hindu that the delimitation of the BBMP wards was similar to the recent exercise undertaken by the election authorities in demarcating the Assembly constituencies within the BBMP limits. Each of the new wards will cover a population of around 50,000.

However, while a recent amendment to the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act permitted the formation of 150 wards in the BBMP limits, the draft notification mentions the formation of 145 wards. The remaining five wards will be carved out of the 145 wards, as and when required.

The draft notification will be valid for 45 days during which period people can file objections, if any. The issuing of the final notification relating to the delimitation of wards and the revision of electoral rolls will set the stage for elections to the BBMP council.

After Assembly polls

With the Election Commission announcing last week that Assembly elections in the State will be held in May, elections to the BBMP council will be held soon after the new government assumes office. The BBMP council has a five-year term, but elections have invariably been delayed. A win in the BBMP elections will obviously give a distinct advantage to the political party concerned. Principal Secretary, Department of Urban Development, K. Jothiramalingam said that it was for the government to decide when to hold the BBMP elections. The delimitation of the wards and the revision of rolls had been completed.

Various political parties have been demanding that elections be held to the BBMP council. The term of the last council expired in November 2006, and since then the BBMP has been under the charge of an administrator and a commissioner.

Despite the demand from various political parties to hold the elections at the earliest, the H.D. Kumaraswamy government decided to put it off indefinitely since the delimitation exercise could not be completed in the new areas that were merged with the erstwhile Bangalore Mahanagara Palike.

Originally constituted as the Bangalore City Corporation, with the merger of the areas coming under the limits of the Bangalore City Council and the Bangalore Cantonment in 1949, the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike came into being about a decade ago after Bangalore was classified as a metropolitan city.

There were 70 elected councillors in the erstwhile BCC and this was raised to 100 with the formation of the BMP.

In January 2007, the Kumaraswamy government merged seven city municipal councils (Rajarajeshwarinagar, Dasarahalli, Bommanahalli, Krishnarajapuram, Mahadevapura, Byatarayanapura and Yelahanka), the Kengeri Town Municipal Council and 111 villages adjoining Bangalore city with the BBMP.

The objective of this exercise was to ensure uniform development and provision of civic amenities in the Bangalore metropolitan agglomeration. The jurisdiction of the BBMP is now spread over 800 sq km with a population of around 70 lakh.

It is the fourth metropolitan municipal corporation after New Delhi, Chennai and Greater Mumbai. The municipal corporation of Kolkata ranks fifth.