Palike defers decision on providing sewing machines

Palike defers decision on providing sewing machines

Mayor Sharadamma, Deputy Mayor Harish (L) and Commissioner Siddaiah at the BBMP Council meeting on Monday.DH photoThe Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Council session on Monday deferred a decision on providing 6,322 sewing machines to the backward classes.

The issue has become a bone of contention over the past four years with no bidders coming forth to supply the machines. Initially priced at Rs 4,850 per unit, the Opposition claimed that the price has been inflated by at least Rs 1,000.

JD(S) Corporator Padmanabha Reddy urged the Mayor to take a second look at the pricing of the machines and the bidders too.

Corporator M Nagaraj suggested that the Palike pay the price of machine to beneficiaries.
The first meeting for Sharadamma and Harish as Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively, turned out to be a screaming match between the ruling and Opposition party members.


Of the 26 subjects on the agenda, the Palike adopted resolutions on 11. The pandemonium began with the Opposition demanding an increase in the nominations to the Bangalore Development Authority and Library Board. It was suggested to nominate four corporators instead of the present two, drawing members from the Opposition parties as well.

Ruling party floor leader B R Nanjundappa said the names of two members each will be submitted to the BDA and the Library, with a request to increase the nominations.
The Opposition, however, alleged violation of House business rules and demanded they too be given nomination papers, even if for formality.

Amid the acrimony, Veena Nagaraj and B Govindaraj were nominated to the Library Board; B S Venkataswamy Naidu and A N Purushottam to the BDA. The choices were unopposed.

Naming of roads

Reddy sought to know the status of naming roads in the City after cricketers M S Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar.

He questioned the delay in identification of the roads to be renamed. Mayor Sharadamma said a decision will be arrived at by next month.

The Council deferred a decision on granting advertising rights against building skywalks.
Congress corporator Gunashekar said a final decision should be taken only after the Palike formulates an advertising policy.

Commissioner Siddaiah clarified that advertising rights had not been granted to any company. He justified the construction of a skywalk near Sophia’s School.

Later in the afternoon, the Council was adjourned to Tuesday as the Opposition stormed into the well for “not being heard” by the Mayor despite repeated pleas.

Tailoring a scam?

According to the Palike sources, the distribution of sewing machines seems to be a scam in the offing. As many as 18,000 machines are to be distributed in the core area of 100 wards with another 4,900 machines for the newly-carved out 98 wards. The project is estimated to cost Rs 11.20 crore. It was alleged that the two companies which bid for the tenders had no prior experience and were allowed only due to “vested interests.” A Rs 9.23-crore tender was awarded to Murudhar Inc to supply 19,043 machines. However, the Commissioner directed the Welfare department not to proceed further.