Multiple autonomous corporations to mimic the Assembly in how they are run

Each corporation will have multiple zones, which will send a representative to the Greater Bengaluru Authority, the apex layer of city’s governance

Published - July 11, 2024 07:00 am IST - Bengaluru

Sources said the State government is now keen on creating five municipal corporations.

Sources said the State government is now keen on creating five municipal corporations. | Photo Credit: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

The draft of the Greater Bengaluru Governance Bill, 2024, submitted to the State government recently, provides for multiple corporations in the mid-level with a Greater Bengaluru Authority (GBA) led by the Chief Minister as the apex layer and empowered ward committees at the ground level, as part of a three-tier structure.

It provides for the creation of one to ten corporations in the city, which together can have up to 400 wards. Sources said the State government is now keen on creating five municipal corporations.

Corporations to mimic Assembly

The draft Bill overhauls the way these corporations work, in a way contrary to how the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) functions. In all aspects, the proposed corporations will mimic the State Assembly and Parliament in its conduct.

Presently, the Mayor presides over the Council and the standing committees are critical to its functioning. In the proposed Bill, the standing committee system is done away with and is replaced by a Mayor-in-Council, which, like a Cabinet, can expand up to 12 members, including the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Members of the Mayor-in-Council will be assigned specific departments. The Council will have a chairperson whose function is similar to that of the Speaker of the Assembly or Lok Sabha.

More importantly, the Mayor-in-Council has executive powers over the corporation and the commissioner, an IAS officer though nominated by the State government, will report to the Mayor, which is not the case in BBMP. Sources in the Brand Bengaluru Committee, which submitted the draft Bill, said a Mayor-in-Council will bring more transparency and accountability. 

Each corporation will have multiple zones, which will send a representative to the GBA, the apex layer of city governance. Each zone will have a zonal commissioner and a zonal committee, which will not just include councillors, but MLAs too. However, these zonal committees will have no executive power.

Autonomous corporations

The corporations are financially autonomous and can raise their revenues, subject to some standard practices set by the GBA. The GBA cannot take away any revenue generated by a corporation, even as it will try to bring in equity between the corporations through state and union government grants. A more prosperous corporation will receive fewer capital grants from the State, while a poorer corporation will receive more.

These corporations will conduct all municipal functions like the BBMP, except for subjects like storm-water drains that traverse across the city, and multiple corporations have to be involved. However, the corporations are entitled to carry out even large projects that fall entirely within their jurisdiction alone but are subject to approval from the GBA.

(This is part of a series on Greater Bengaluru Governance Bill, 2024)

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