BBMP councillors seek clarity over utilisation COVID-19-related funds
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike council meeting on Thursday got off to a rocky start with councillors, mainly from the Opposition, alleging that food kits were not properly distributed at the ward level. They accused ruling party members of taking the lion’s share.
Councillors also sought to know the procedure to utilise the ₹20 lakh that was allocated to each ward to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. M. Shivaraju, a councillor said, “In the BBMP budget, a total of ₹45 lakh was earmarked to each ward to fight COVID-19, of which ₹25 lakh was given to the Chief Minister’s discretionary fund. Now, there is no clarity on how to utilise the remaining amount.”
Former Mayor B.N. Manjunath Reddy urged the Mayor and Commissioner to provide information on how many food kits were allotted and distributed in each ward and on what basis the State government’s ₹20 crore grants were utilised.
BBMP Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar informed the council that over ₹3.93 lakh migrant and construction labourers were given food kits sufficient for 21 days. “According to the Labour Department data, there were around 68,000 migrant labourers in the city. But according to our survey there were 3.93 lakh labourers and people belonging to vulnerable sections,” he said.
Congress councillors protest naming of flyover after Savarkar
Councilors from the Congress protested in front of the council building against the naming of Yelahanka flyover after Hindutva ideologue, V.D. Savarkar. This comes a day after the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike issued an invitation for the inauguration of the flyover which initially mentioned that it would be named after V.D. Savarkar. The civic body then reissued another invitation without naming the flyover, and finally cancelled the inauguration altogether.
Abdul Wajid, Leader of Opposition, BBMP, said that the current dispensation had dishonoured freedom fighters from the State by choosing to name the flyover after V.D. Savarkar. “They got the resolution regarding it passed in an undemocratic manner. This is unacceptable and we oppose the move,” he said.
Speaking to the media after the council meeting, Mayor M. Goutham Kumar said that the council had passed a resolution in February regarding its name. “There is one month for objections to be filed on the issue. We will communicate the response we receive to the government,” he said.