Splitting BBMP: Experts debate the pros and cons

Splitting BBMP: Experts debate the pros and cons

Former IAS officer V Balasubramanian speaks at a seminar ‘Governing Bangalore Metropolis’ on Saturday. DH PHOTO/RANJU P

Providing a fresh perspective to the three-member panel’s recommendation on restructuring Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar on Saturday said the government is not yet done with the report. 

Taking part in a symposium on ‘Governing Bangalore Metropolis’, Bhaskar said, “The recommendation has not been abandoned, but is yet to be discussed and decided on subjects like how to do it and when to do it.”

The three-member committee headed former Chief Secretary B S Patil and comprising urban expert V Ravichandar and former bureaucrat Siddaiah had submitted recommended splitting the BBMP into five municipal corporations. However, Bengaluru-in-charge Minister
G Parameshwara had assured that the government will not split the corporation. 

Debating on the issue, urban experts and former bureaucrats expressed a critical opinion while vouching for an alternative to the BBMP.

V Balasubramanian, a retired IAS officer, said, “The BBMP has neither the capacity nor even the jurisdiction to handle the city’s problems. There should have been an alternative system of a Bangalore Metropolitan Council (BMC) in place of BBMP, where every five lakh population will get one town council. Let this body look after civic activities carried out by BWSSB, Bescom, BDA, KSPCB and BMTC.”

According to him, 25 councils such as KR Puram, RR Nagar, Jayanagar and others will have elected town councillors from wards who will elect the president and vice-president of the town council. Similarly, the CM will be the ex officio chairman of the BMC. It will have experts as nominated members. 

Some urban experts, however, suggested “decentralisation” of the civic body at every ward involving corporators and ward committee members. Ravichandar said, “We should have our corporators close to our houses to hear our grievances. There is no harm in trifurcating the BBMP, it will only make bureaucrats and elected representatives more accessible to citizens."