BBMP decision on advertisement rules deferred

A BBMP Council member speaking at the meeting in Bengaluru on Tuesday.  

After two days of discussion, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council deferred the decision on advertisement rules published by the Urban Development Department. It is likely to take a resolution on a blanket ban on all forms of advertisement in the city in the special meeting scheduled on August 6.

Cutting across party lines, councillors, on Monday and Tuesday, expressed their objection to the advertisement rules. Ruling party leader Abdul Wajid told The Hindu that the BBMP Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Policy and Bylaws 2018, that has been “deemed approved” by the government has provisions that allow advertisements on skywalks, police chowkis and bus shelters that have been built on BOOT (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer) basis. “We decided to defer the decision on the issue, as we felt it is better to have a blanket ban,” he said.

Administrative transfer

The BBMP council also passed a resolution to submit a proposal to the government seeking administrative transfer of 203 public libraries, 1,599 government primary and high schools, 48 public health centres, and anganwadis that are in the city limits.

Currently, the libraries are under the Directorate of Libraries, while management of government primary and high schools, PHCs and anganwadis are under the Bengaluru Urban Zilla Panchayat. The council, a couple of months ago, had discussed the issue. Councillors had pointed out that though the BBMP has no administrative control over schools and libraries, citizens often approach them with complaints.

If administrative control is given to BBMP, funding and administrative control will be routed through BBMP and not the zilla panchayat. This will bring in better accountability, besides streamlining administration, officials argued.

Onti Maney scheme

Several councillors demanded the release of funds for construction of houses for the poor under ‘Onti Maney’ scheme. The issue was raised by Sarvagna Nagar councillor Shashirekha M., who claimed that the files pertaining to the scheme were being sent from one office to another while beneficiaries were suffering. After she raised the issue, several other councillors alleged that officials were deliberately delaying clearing files, and urged Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad to issue a circular demanding that the process be simplified.

Responding to the allegations, Mr. Prasad clarified that the selection of beneficiaries should be done at the ward committee level. He also said the process of application has been simplified. As proof of residence, beneficiaries need to submit only power and water bills and an affidavit

Ward committee meetings

Several councillors alleged that secretaries of ward committees — jurisdictional assistant executive engineers or executive engineers — do not attend meetings regularly. The discussion on ward committees was initiated by J.P. Park councillor Mamatha K.B. Vasudev, who said that the jurisdictional AEE had not attended a ward committee meeting. “Resolutions taken by the committee were not being followed. What is the use of holding the meetings when the resolutions are not followed?” she said. Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad directed the jurisdictional zonal commissioners to look into the allegations.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 5:56:00 AM |

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