Udayavni Special

BBMP bill passed by Karnataka assembly, provides for 30-month Mayoral term

PTI, Dec 10, 2020, 6:02 PM IST

Bengaluru: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) bill that provides for expanding the city’s municipal limits, increasing the number of wards and proposes a new governance structure with a 30-month Mayoral term, was passed by the Karnataka legislative assembly on Thursday.

According to the government, it was necessary to have an independent legislation for the working of BBMP, the city civic body for the purpose of improving decentralisation, integration of public participation at various levels of municipal governance and ensuring efficient decision making. With 714 sq km of area under the jurisdiction, the BBMP is currently governed under the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act.

“Bengaluru has become more unwieldy, there were a lot of discrepancies with regards to the delimitation that was done last time, also as the city has grown and developed a lot since then, there is some confusion about BBMP, municipality and gram panchayat that comes under. So as to bring it under one framework, we are bringing in this bill,” Law Minister J C Madhuswamy said.

Explaining the bill in assembly, he said we have proposed to increase the number of wards from existing 198 wards to 243 wards on the basis of the population and the assembly constituency, and to increase the existing BBMP limits by expanding it to cover a 1-km radius.

“We are provisioning for inclusion of nearby gram panchayats, town panchayats, town municipal councils and city municipal councils that are currently outside the BBMP limits under this expansion… in principle around 1 km radius can be done, with minor changes if needed during delimitation,” he added.

Madhuswamy also said that under this bill the tenure of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor that was so far only one year, has now been enhanced to 30 months. The Joint Select Committee of the Karnataka legislature constituted to scrutinise the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Bill had tabled its report in the assembly on Wednesday, which is the basis of this bill.

Opposition Congress that had boycotted the assembly proceedings today against the passage of the anti-cow slaughter bill, was not present in the House, when the BBMP bill was passed.

The Minister while explaining the bill for the consideration of the house said it proposes a prohibition of simultaneous membership, under which if a BBMP member gets elected to state legislature or Parliament, he or she has to opt between the both within six months. The bill also proposes to have constituency level consultative committees under MLA’s chairmanship, also increasing the number of zones in the city from current eight to maximum up to 15 with each of them having a zonal committees with zonal Commissioner, he said.

“The decisions of the zonal committees will be sent to corporations and execution of work has to be taken care of by the zonal committees and they will be responsible for it,” he said.

Further BBMP under the bill will have power to fix fee on advertisements, as tax cannot be collected after GST, also provisions have been made for them to collect entertainment tax, Madhuswamy said adding that rainwater harvesting has been made mandatory for sites above 60×40 dimensions. Among other decisions include, power to stop dangerous quarrying in corporation limits, establishment of grievances redressal authority, he said.

The BBMP Bill that will be exclusive for the city was tabled in the assembly by the government in March. It was subsequently referred to the 21-member joint panel, consisting of both MLAs and MLCs, headed by BJP MLA S Raghu, following objections raised by several members, including those from the ruling BJP.

The high court had recently ordered the state election commission to hold elections to the existing 198 BBMP wards and notify the polls within six weeks. The term of BBMP corporators ended September 10. The government has appointed a senior IAS officer Gaurav Gupta as administrator until the new council for the civic body is elected.

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