Siddaiah back at Palike

Siddaiah back at Palike

The State government on Monday appointed Siddaiah “in-charge” Commissioner of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), a year after his unceremonious exit from the civic body. The present BBMP Commissioner, Rajneesh Goel, was sent on compulsory leave for 15 days.

Sources said the move may incur the wrath of the Election Commission since Goel was shunted out in the middle of revision of the electoral roll. After the roll is prepared, Siddaiah, a principal secretary in the Higher Education Department now, will be
reinstated as the BBMP commissioner. He will be at helm until retirement.

Speaking to Deccan Herald after assuming charge, Siddaiah said he would try to live up to expectations. Reacting to the sudden change of guard in the BBMP, Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy said: “I came to know about the transfer from news channels. I heard that Goel took leave for 15 days on medical grounds.”

However, Goel could not be contacted. He was appointed BBMP commissioner barely four months ago and was known for taking  steps to bail the City out of the  garbage crisis. New garbage contracts were awarded during his tenure and segregation of garbage was made must.

The government and the BBMP have drawn flak from various quarters, including the Karnataka High Court, for failing to implement solid waste management. Besides, the government was apprehensive that the garbage crisis and sluggish pace of development work across the City will lead to a backlash from the electorate in the next Assembly elections.

Deccan Herald reported on November 14 that the government was contemplating reinstating Siddaiah as commissioner, in view of the garbage crisis in the City. The report quoted sources as saying that Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka, Urban Development Minister S Suresh Kumar and Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy had met Siddaiah to persuade him to assume charge. Siddaiah had initially hesitated as he is slated to retire in a few months, but later relented.

Siddaiah was removed from the BBMP on November 28, 2011, after he brought to light the fake bill scams to the tune of Rs 1,539 crore in the Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Gandhi Nagar and Malleswaram.

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