Waste agency gets legal clearance


Carved out of the BBMP, it will collect, transport and process all types of waste generated in Palike’s area

The proposal to establish Bengaluru Solid Waste Management Ltd by carving it out of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has just received a first of the many clearances it requires to be registered under the Companies Act. Earlier this week, the Law Department cleared the proposal, making it easy to get the rest of the approvals. It will now travel to departments such as finance, parliament affairs and legislation before it is tabled in the state cabinet for the final nod.

Sources in the urban development department (UDD) confirmed that the proposal was approved by the law department on last Tuesday. One of the reasons for establishing a separate entity for collection, transportation and processing of all types of solid waste generated in the BBMP area was the civic body’s “not satisfactory” record of managing the waste that “caused frequent inconvenience” to public.

The new corporate set up — entirely owned by the government (51% BBMP and 49% Government of Karnataka) — will be run by professionals. The Company, officials said, would be established with an objective of collection, segregation, transportation, trading, processing, composting, recycling, treatment and disposal of all types of solid waste excluding biomedical waste, public toilets and urinals.

The structure of the company would be: Chairman (Additional Chief Secretary, UDD), Co-Chairman (Commissioner, BBMP), two ex-officio directors from the State Government (Secretary of Department of Environment and Ecology and Regional Commissioner, Bengaluru) and two ex-officio directors from the BBMP. The government agency is expected to get two independent directors nominated by state government and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Company with qualification on lines of Chairman of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board

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(KSPCB).

It’s learnt that the structure of the company could change during the next levels of scrutiny. There is a high chance of political representatives seeking a post in the Board.

The entity may be allowed to collect user charges on the lines of BESCOM and BWSSB and is expected to get funding support from Government of Karnataka.

Question on accountability

Experts however say the entity should be made accountable to the BBMP whose primary responsibility includes providing civic services. Vishwanath Srikantaiah, water conservation expert who works closely with the BWSSB, says such a set up helps run the organisation professionally. “The accountability of the institution should be with the BBMP,” he said and added that three levels of accountability should be created. “One at the ward level where the representative of the special purpose vehicle attends committee meetings, another at the BBMP level and third one for the metropolitan planning committee. Such an arrangement is currently missing both in BWSSB and BESCOM,” he said.

Sapna Karim, head of civic participation at Janaagraha, a non-profit organisation, also added that the parastatal agencies should be first accountable to the city government and not state. “It’s possible to bring in technical capacity without creating a separate organisation. Even if a parastatal agency is being established, it should be accountable to BBMP, which is responsible for providing civic services,” she said.



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Sagar Biswas

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