'Its staff idle, BDA pays consultants'

'Its staff idle, BDA pays consultants'

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is paying a hefty amount of money to ‘consultants’ even while 160 of its engineers are without work, B M Shivakumar, president, Jayaprakash Narayan Vichara Vedike has said.

At the same time, the resource-challenged institution has laid out an ambitious plan of massive projects despite a serious fund crunch, he told reporters here on Wednesday.

Shivakumar said that on February 15, this year, BDA prepared an action plan of Rs 20,288 crore for various developmental projects and paid a consultancy fee of Rs 240 crore to various firms. Shivakumar had exposed various scams in the BDA, including the alleged misuse of discretionary powers by chief minister Yeddyurappa to allot ‘G’ category sites to his kin. "The BDA should have utilised the services of some 160 engineers who are jobless in the wake of non-creation of any new layouts. But a pauper BDA dares to pay Rs 240 crores a consultancy fee to private firms," said Shivakumar. He feared that unplanned expenditure would lead to the closure of BDA.

Borrowal plans

He said the BDA recently planned to borrow Rs 3,000 crore to complete the ongoing projects. The BDA Commissioner wrote  to the finance department of the government seeking permission to borrow money.

This apart , the BDA paid Rs 400 crore to the Karnataka revenue department to acquire 326.18 acres of land for the economically weaker sections. Besides, the BDA paid Rs 26.11 crore for the preparation of Metropolitan Spatial Data (revised master plan-2015), claimed Shivakumar. The BDA also took loan from the government of France and repaid it along with interest. The BDA has undertaken various projects within the jurisdiction of BBMP, worth Rs 453 crores said Shivakumar.

BDA Commissioner Bharatlal Meena rejected the charges levelled by Shivakumar, saying the BDA sztands strong financial grounds and has its own revenue generation mechanism.