Expert panel submits Greater Bengaluru Governance Bill

Expert panel submits Greater Bengaluru Governance Bill

The BBMP restructuring committee, which has submitted the Greater Bengaluru Governance Bill, 2018, has sought the government to create a separate Act for the Palike.

Committee members, B S Patil, Siddaiah and V Ravichandar, who submitted the final report to the government on Thursday, said they have also recommended for the government to prepare separate Cadre and Recruitment (C&R) Rules, specifying the method of appointments and qualification of officers appointed to the municipal corporations and Greater Bengaluru Authority (GBA).

The report says that the rules should be revised every five years.

Stressing on the fact the restructuring would not dent Brand Bengaluru, the members also said that they had suggested reforms in taxation and finance.

Stating that there were serious inconsistencies in the collection of property tax by the BBMP, Patil said the committee had recommended reforms to address the matter.

“We have studied three wards and given recommendations on plugging discrepancies in collection of property tax by the BBMP. Though there are 22 lakh properties in Bengaluru city, the BBMP is collecting tax only from 13 lakh to 14 lakh properties,” said Patil.

Elaborating on the three-tier system of governance, the members said the framework would ensure that the government is closer and accessible to the people.

According to the framework, the city will be governed by the Greater Bengaluru Authority (GBA) at the top. The GBA will work as an apex body. Under it will the five municipal corporations, followed by the ward committees at the lowest level.

Mayor to head GBA

The GBA will be headed by a mayor and will include the commissioner of the BDA, two councillors from all municipal corporations, one MLA from each municipal corporations, two members representing the panchayat, executive heads of BWSSB, BMTC, BMRCL and BESCOM, and five experts in matters related to urban governance.

The mayor will be directly elected by the people across all municipal corporations in the Greater Bengaluru Area. While BDA will be the secretariat of the GBA, the BDA commissioner will be the member secretary of GBA.

The GBA will be responsible for the overall planning of the Greater Bengaluru Area and will have supervisory powers over the other civic agencies.

Mayor-in-council system

Each municipal corporation will have a mayor in council, consisting of the mayor, deputy mayor and 10 other
members; instead of a commissioner.

The mayor-in-council is vested with executive powers of the corporation. Each municipal corporation will have a municipal accounts committee to scrutinise the accounts and expenditure.

The committee has recommended that the corporations be divided into zones, with each zone having a zonal committee comprising the councillors elected from wards in that zone.

The government can dissolve a municipal corporation for six months if the committee members fail to perform their duties or have abused their powers extensively.

Empowered ward panel

Each ward will have a ward committee with 20 members, half of whom will be elected. Every ward will have a secretary who will be the chief executive responsible for carrying out decisions of the ward committee.

The ward committees will have to prepare a five-year ward vision plan, an annual ward development plan and annual ward budget.

The committees will be empowered to execute, supervise and audit the works of the corporation in the ward.


Major recommendations

Expert committee on BBMP restructuring has submitted a new bill

Seeks the withdrawal of the previous bill — Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2015

The committee is submitting its final report for the second time

It had given its recommendations to the previous Congress regime, which had sought changes

It has now sought the appointment of an eminent person as the Greater Bengaluru Services Ombudsman to address grievances

It has suggested that GBA should replace the BDA as the local planning authority for Bengaluru