Palike is broke, says Commissioner

BBMP special meeting: Corporators debate water crisis

“I do not have even one crore rupeees in the BBMP coffer for your unpaid bills,” Siddaiah told contractors protesting delay in settlement of their bills. The Palike owes Rs 1,500 crore to contractors. Later, Mayor S K Nataraj had a meeting with the representatives of the BBMP Contractors’ Association.

“We have been told that the Palike will introduce a hundi system for the next six months to clear the dues. A Letter of Credit will be provided to contractors who have taken up BBMP projects irrespective of their category,” Association vice-president G S Ravindra said. He said a more detailed discussion will be taken up on Friday.

Another major issue likely to be resolved is keeping out Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Limited out of BBMP projects. Ravindra said the Mayor has promised that no projects will be awarded to KRIDL henceforth. Over 800 contractors staged a protest in front of the BBMP office.

Ban on hookah bars likely

Hookah bars may be a thing of the past in the City henceforth. The Palike Council passed a resolution on Tuesday to ban hookah bars.

Yediyur corporator N R Ramesh who raised the issue said illegal activities were thriving under the garb of hookah bars.

“Several bars use narcotic substances and hence are harmful. They do not even have trade licences,” he said. Deputy Commissioner (Health) Ramachandra Murthy said hookah bars were considered “new trades” which do not  feature in the list of trades specified in the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976.

Commissioner Siddaiah suggested beating of drums in front of the houses whose owners have not paid property tax. Attachment and sale of movables and publishing the names of defaulters in newspapers were also debated.

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