Change of guard: New chiefs for BBMP, BWSSB

Anil Kumar and Maheswara Rao

Effecting a change of guard at the city’s civic administration, the state government on Thursday transferred the commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and brought in senior IAS officer B H Anil Kumar to the post.

The sudden transfer of incumbent commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, at a time when several infrastructure works were nearing completion, has created ripples in bureaucratic circles. Similarly, M Maheshwara Rao was posted as the new chairperson of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).

Anil Kumar, an officer of the 1987 IAS batch, had returned to the state only a year ago after being promoted in the cadre.

Serving as the executive director of National Institute of Disaster Management under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Anil Kumar was promoted to the ranks of ACS and posted as Additional Secretary to the state government handling Higher Education along with an additional charge of Kannada and Culture. Just two months ago, he was appointed as the ACS, Urban Development department.

Though the bureaucratic reshuffle is seen as common practice after a change in government, the transfer of the BBMP commissioner has evoked a different reaction. While the government ordered the transfer of various IPS and IAS officers including Bengaluru police commissioner and BDA commissioner, it had left the BBMP commissioner and BWSSB chairman untouched. However, on Thursday evening both the officers were given marching orders.  Further, by posting an officer of the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) rank, the government upgraded the post of BBMP commissioner which all these years was only a Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) post.  

Serving as the BBMP commissioner since April 2016 (with a brief transfer of one month during 2018 elections), Manjunatha Prasad had introduced several ambitious projects including the appointment of marshals to control illegal garbage dumping in public areas and enforcing a ban on plastic. While floating separate tenders for waste collection though the BBMP council had differed from his idea of segregation of waste at source, Prasad had succeeded in convincing the council. When the BBMP budget lacked fiscal discipline, Prasad had written to the Urban Development Department not to approve the budget.

Ministers’ meet

Senior minister and MLA from Rajajinagar, S Suresh Kumar on Thursday evening tweeted that all four ministers from Bengaluru have decided to hold a meeting once a fortnight to oversee the development of the city.

In the expanded Cabinet, four MLAs from the city — R Ashoka, V Somanna, S Suresh Kumar and Dr C N Ashwath Narayan have been inducted as ministers. 

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