Timing of BBMP Bill questioned during debate

At a public debate on the new Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Bill 2020, former councillors called for empowering the council and ward committees, bringing all civic utilities and parastatals under the BBMP and increasing the term of the mayor.

The discussion, organised by Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy on Thursday, saw many panellists question the timing of the introduction of the Bill.

Opposing the Bill, former Congress councillor and opposition leader Abdul Wajid maintained that the legislation was being introduced only to put off polls to the civic body. The term of the BBMP council ended on September 10. A Bill for Bengaluru should have vision and a broader outlook, keeping in mind the growth of the city, he said.

Former councillor and president of Janata Dal (S) Bengaluru city unit R. Prakash said there was no clarity with regard to work execution. “We have been stressing on the need for ‘road history’ to be maintained for better transparency in works,” he said.

Shanthala Damle, State co-convenor of Aam Aadmi Party, maintained that the KMC Act could be amended to suit the needs of the city, instead of bringing in a new Bill.

Former BJP councillor and opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy while welcoming the Bill, admitted to certain shortcomings. Though the council is supreme, the Bill envisages more powers for the commissioners of zonal committees.

Deepak Nagaraj from the Karnataka Rashtra Samiti and Srikanth Narasimhan from the Bengaluru Navanirmana Party were also on the panel.

All the panellists agreed on one point: One city, one corporation.

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Sagar Biswas

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