The State legislature’s Joint Select Committee has recommended that the boundary of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which is over 800 sq.km, be expanded to cover an additional 1-km radius. This will lead to subsuming parts of gram panchayats, town panchayats, town municipal councils, and city municipal councils that are currently outside the BBMP limits.
The proposal, however, has been met with scepticism from residents in the outer areas and citizens’ groups. Jagadish Reddy from Varthur Rising sought to know if the increase in the BBMP’s limits was warranted. “Much of the resource concentration is in the core areas. Since the limits were expanded in 2007, not much has been done for the outer areas. There is a need to have a proper administrative structure in place,” he said, suggesting that the BBMP be split into multiple corporations for administrative purposes.
The former Opposition Leader in the BBMP council Abdul Wajid pointed out that overall development had not happened in all 198 wards. He alleged that the suggestion to increase the limits was probably owing to influence of real estate lobby.
Srinivas Alavilli from Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy said the BBMP was too big and unmanageable. “The Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to BBMP experiment has clearly not worked over the past 13 years. There is infrastructure deficiency in outer zones. The BBMP Bill is largely silent on planning, which is essential for overall development,” he said.
He also pointed to the lack of any consultation with civil society, but welcomed certain aspects of the recommendations such as the constitution of zonal committees and increasing the term of the Mayor.