Govt. may seek postponement of BBMP polls to provide for ward delimitation

The Bharatiya Janata Party is said to be keen on reorganising Bengaluru’s administration set-up before the next BBMP polls.  

There is a likelihood of the State government approaching the High Court of Karnataka seeking extension of time for holding elections to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), as it is considering increasing the number of wards.

Dropping hints after the Cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy said the government was examining the proposal for increasing the wards from the present 198 to 225. A final decision would be taken after holding consultations with various stakeholders.

Pointing out that the joint select committee of the State legislature that is looking into the BBMP Bill is meeting in Bengaluru on Friday, the Minister said the committee was expected to discuss issues related to increasing the number of wards.

If wards have to be increased, the delimitation exercise would have to be undertaken again. Such a process needs time, he said, while pointing out that the term of the BBMP would end this month. In such a situation, the government would have to approach the High Court within this month to seek postponement of BBMP polls, he said.

The joint select committee, with 13 MLAs and seven MLCs as members, was constituted in August to look into the BBMP Bill that was tabled in March. The framing of a separate Act for Bengaluru was in fact discussed during the previous Assembly session in March this year.

Sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party said the party was keen on reorganising the city’s administration set-up before the next civic polls. To bring the number of wards to 225, it has been proposed to bring in around 65 villages, especially those in the Electronics City–Sarjapura stretch within the BBMP limits. Many party leaders are batting in favour of the proposal, referring to urbanisation of the 65 villages and potential to garner more revenue to the financially starved civic body.

However, not everyone agrees with this line of argument. Civic experts have for long been pointing out that the present BBMP is itself unmanageable as a single unit. Several reports, including the BBMP Restructuring Committee Report, 2015, have recommended for multiple corporations.

Sources in the BJP said that while the party was against multiple corporations, it was keen on adapting certain provisions from the BBMP Restructuring Report, 2015, especially empowering zones. The BBMP Bill provides zonal committees, which will have councillors elected from that particular zone as its members. It has been proposed that these zonal committees will be headed by an IAS officer who will be posted as zonal commissioner.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet granted clearance for taking up fourth phase of KHB’s Surya City residential layout project under which the Board would develop the layout with land owners at a ratio of 50:50.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 10:29:11 PM |

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