City Mayor may have 5-year term

There is resistance to the idea of a direct election, and hence the compromise, according to a member of ABIDe (Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure Development) that has been pressuring the government to take an in-depth look at the provisions of the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Governance Bill (BMRGB) likely to be tabled by the government soon.

“There is a possibility that the direct election to the mayor may be amended to an indirect election but ensure that he is elected for a term of five years,” informed an ABIDe member. Further, a compromise may also be made in terms of arming the mayor with ‘certain’ executive powers.

The BMRGB was discussed at a workshop conducted by the non-governmental organisation (NGO) CIVIC, Bangalore.

Speaking at the event, Dr A Ravindra, Advisor to the Chief Minister on Urban Affairs, stated that the Bill will also make the functioning of the District Planning Authority more effective. “There still are many conflicts which have to be resolved. There is a need for accountability along with transparency,” Ravindra stated.

The State-level workshop ‘74th Constitutional Amendment Act in Karnataka: Status in 2010 and Future’ was organised to discuss the lack of say for citizens on matters of public interest. Members from various Municipal and Town Corporations across the State were part of the day-long discussion on various issues related to the civic bodies.  

“Elected members are not taken into confidence with regard to any decision. All the decisions are taken by the MLAs and ministers in-charge,” complained Gundlupet Town Municipal Council member Latha Rajashekhar.

The Deputy Mayor of Mysore City Corporation, Pushpavalli had a more fundamental question. Questioning the relevance of discussing the validity of the 74th Amendment to the Constitution which is yet to be implemented comprehensively, she had a simple question: “What purpose will this serve when the local bodies have not yet been empowered?”

Taking note of the concerns, Ravindra said there were many anomalies in the implementation of the 74th Amendment that needed to be set right,  from the right of the MLAs to sit in the local municipal corporation meetings to the laxity among the bodies to generate revenue.

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