Polls halt City's development works

MLAs want poll code to be restricted to the Assembly segment going to polls

The development works here came to a standstill when the country went for the general elections in April - May. Citing the model code of conduct (MCC) in effect, no fresh work was taken up in the City.

Now, within two months after the LS elections, Bangalore Urban district is under the blanket of the model code of conduct, as by-elections to Govindarajanagar and four other Assembly constituencies have been declared. Poll code is in effect in  all 28 Assembly constituencies in the district. As a result the works which were at the stage of inviting tenders have been stopped. The MCC will be in effect till the results of the by-polls are declared.

A section of the City MLAs are of the opinion that their hands have been tied up as MCC does not allow to undertake fresh work. Cases of chikungunya and dengue are on the rise, and with the onset of monsoon the people have to face overflowing drains and flooding. Basavangudi MLA Ravi Subramanya said, “Not only major works, but even filling up a trench or managing solid waste needs funds and invitation of tenders. Tenders can be invited only after the elections are over.”

He said the tender process for works worth Rs 10 crore, including Rs 5 crore for development of Kempambudhi tank was about to begin in a week’s time.

He, on Tuesday, submitted an appeal to the Chief Electoral Officer C S Suranjan in this regard. He demanded that the MCC should be restricted to the Assembly constituency where the election was declared.

Many MLAs, irrespective of the party they belong to, are of the similar opinion.

Byatarayanapura MLA Krishna Byregowda (Cong) said there was no proper garbage collection system in his area. He made efforts to invite fresh tenders for the work, but could not proceed because of the MCC.

“It is difficult for the MLAs to make the public understand that there is the MCC in effect. People want their area to be free from garbage, as they are worried about spread of contagious diseases. Soon after the by-polls, there will be model code of conduct once again for the BBMP election and after that for elections to MLCs from local bodies,” he said.

Work proposed

The BJP government allotted works worth Rs 700 crore through BDA in the City. MLAs of constituencies spread over newly added areas of the BBMP proposed works related to development of roads and laying sanitary lines.

K R Pura MLA Nandish Reddy said Rs 60 crore was allotted to his constituency but the work was affected due of enforcement of model code of conductduring the LS elections.

“We decided not to take up road works till sanitary line works are completed. So far only 15 per cent of funds was  spent. Two tender-packages are ready, but we can’t process them,” he said.

EC opines

He opined that the Election Commission should restrict the code of conduct to the constituencies going for polls. If necessary it could extend it to constituencies adjacent to it, but not across the district.

Chief Electoral Officer C S Suranjan said the poll code applies to entire Bangalore Urban district as Govindarajangar was going for polls. If there was a work which BBMP commissioner feels, should be taken up at the earliest in the interest of the public, he could approach the EC. The EC would allow such work if the commissioner’s demand was justified.

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