BBMP help centre needs succour

BBMP help centre needs succour

Sorry state of affairs

The BBMP help centre in Chikkalasandra ward. DH PHOTO

Even worse, it is the BBMP tax inspector at the centre paying the rent for the last six months!

Ward No 197 of Vasanthapura, formerly called Chikkalasandra, is home to one of the smallest BBMP One centres.

The help centre was previously located in Ward No 184.  The Tax Inspector Udaya Shetty had to find a place quickly in this ward, as he was instructed that each of the wards needed to have a help centre. Since not a single government building was available, he had to settle for a tiny shop and converted that into a help centre.

“We moved here about six months ago and I have been paying the rent of Rs 3,000 since then. Thank God, I did not have to pay the advance too,” Udaya Shetty laughs.

It is not only the rent, but he also pays the salary of the man who operates the computer at the centre. This is because the maintenance and operation of the computers has been outsourced to Keonics and Shetty says they take their own sweet time sending someone to the help centre. “I have asked BBMP to refund me but so far there has been no response. Plus this place is so small, there is no place to keep the files or applications. I have to spend half my time on the phone giving directions to this place,” Shetty complains.

This is for a ward that has nearly 9,000 properties. This tiny kiosk also collects tax for 5,500 properties in Ward 184 (Uttarahalli) too, for there is no official to man the help centre in that ward.

The approach to this place itself is dangerous. A small narrow slab of granite bridges the road and the shop as the BWSSB has taken up repairs on the stormwater drain.

Piles of granite slabs along with cement and sand fight for space. Dr Raghottam Rao, who came to pay his property tax, commented, “This place is not congenial at all. It is hard to believe that the BBMP could not find a better place.” In fact, Shetty recalled two incidents when people, who had come to pay the tax, slipped and fell into the drain.

One of the BBMP staffers could be heard asking the people if they knew of any bigger place nearby. Udaya Shetty might not be too sure about moving for he might have to end up paying higher rent!

According to a senior official of the BBMP, payments for rented places were made immediately after the receipt was submitted and this particular case was an accidental oversight.