After 16 years, govt realises 'folly' of creating BMTF

After 16 years, govt realises 'folly' of creating BMTF

Palike commissioner asked to assert his authority over the agency

Almost sixteen years after the formation of the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF), the State government has finally realised that the institution is redundant.

 As a 'corrective measure', the government has suggested the Commissioner of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to assert his authority over the agency.

The realisation dawned on the government when the BMTF took its responsibilities seriously and registered cases against many people including some prominent names in the Palike.

The task force got more tooth with the launch of an online complaint registration system, recently.

Officials in the BMTF are apprehensive that the task force is on the death row as plans are afoot to disband it.

Against the series of demands made by Dr R P Sharma, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), BMTF, seeking more staff to run the institution in an effective manner, the government came out with a strange solution.

N Gopalaiah, the undersecretary to the Urban Development Department wrote to the Palike commissioner suggesting him to appoint people of his choice under Section 492 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act. A copy of the letter is with the Deccan Herald.

 The letter, dated July 17 (UAD349/MNU 2011) gives indication that the State government constituted BMTF and appointed an officer of the ADGP rank as its chief, though there was no such provision in the KMC Act. The statute was not amended suitably.

The letter said as per the KMC Act, the task force should be directly under the control of the BBMP commissioner and the Principal Secretary to the Urban Development Department.

The BBMP has not taken any stand on the issue so far, according to sources in the Palike. A decision is expected within week.

The history

The BMTF was constituted on March 19, 1996 by the State government through its order number UDD 247/MNU 95. The preamble of the order read: “It has come to the notice of the Government that large scale attempts are made by land grabbers to occupy in an unauthorised manner the lands belonging to the Government, the BBMP, the BDA, the municipal councils and the Slum Clearance Board in Bangalore Metropolitan Area.

The functions of the task force shall be better protection of the property belonging to the government, the Bangalore City Corporation (now BBMP), the BDA, the BWSSB, the City Municipal Councils (CMCs) and the Slum Clearance Board in Bangalore.

According to the police sources, the BMTF cannot be governed by the BBMP commissioner as per the police manual.

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