BBMP workers to go on strike from today

 Work at the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), including garbage collection is expected to be affected drastically with as many as 11,000 engineers, officials and pourakarmikas having decided to go an indefinite strike against the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF), beginning Wednesday. However, BBMP hospitals and schools will be spared. R Subramaniam, president, BBMP Officers’ and Employees’ Association, told mediapersons here on Tuesday that private and civil contractors have also pledged to extend their support to the strike. Stating that government officials are being treated like criminals by the BMTF, Subramaniam said: “...about 130 FIRs have been filed against us in just five days following the recent Council meeting where our complaint against the Task Force was discussed. All this gives us enough reason to strike,” he said. The Association wants the State government to rectify the government order -- issued in 1996 -- declaring BMTF a police station, which gives it powers to book criminal cases.  “This has been used to book engineers and officials and we want the order withdrawn,” he said.

Further, a group of former mayors held a press conference on Tuesday, criticising the functioning of the Task Force. Former mayor M Ramachandrappa alleged that corruption in the Palike began after the BMTF was set up.  Building owners harassed

“The members of the Task Force are also harassing owners of buildings,” he said.Another former mayor, P R Ramesh said: “There are no records available on the BMTF since 1997 even if it is sought under RTI. We have been told that the records were burnt in the fire that broke out in the office last year.” He said that the Task Force had failed to maintain the records online. “...There seems to be collusion between the State government, BBMP and BMTF,” he said.

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