Surprise raid catches BDA, BBMP officials off guard

Surprise raid catches BDA, BBMP officials off guard

Upa Lokayukta raps them for poor maintenance of files

Surprise raid catches BDA, BBMP officials off guard

A team from Lokayukta office headed by Upa Lokayukta S B Majage conducted surprise searches at the offices of Town Planning in Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) as well as Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) on Thursday.

This is one of the first searches conducted by Majage during his term as the Upa Lokayukta and said to be the result of several complaints about both the civic bodies.

Accompanied by Lokayukta Additional Director General of Police H N Satyanaranayana Rao and Deputy Inspector General P H Rane and others, the Upa Lokayukta scrutinised documents related to amalgamation of sites, change of land use, bifurcation of sites, land conversions, private layout plans and lands slotted for denotification and was said to be dissatisfied with the way files were maintained.

According to ADGP Rao, most of the files were maintained in a very poor condition. “There was absolutely no transparency in the way the registers were maintained. There was utter confusion and they seemed to thrive in it. Even, we could not understand what was there in these files, how could we expect the common man to follow it,” Rao asked.

The Lokayukta officials also came across a man who had been visiting the BDA office for the last 36 years, simply to obtain an alternative site in Banashankari.

Officials were summoned and case workers were questioned on the files, Lokayukta officials said.

The Upa Lokayukta has told the officers to take action in the next three days and address the grievances of the citizens. He also asked for several files from the BDA. “If  we find major discrepancies, then we might file a case,” Rao said.

Officials were also advised by the Upa Lokayukta to treat the citizens in a humanitarian manner and help them.

Majage later headed to BBMP Town Planning offices where documents were said to have been maintained in a slightly better way. Files related to commercial and residential properties, parking facilities and others were said to be scrutinised by the team.

Computerisation of several of their services had led to better maintenance and tracking of their files, according to the Lokayukta officials. “With online applications, at least acceptance of the files is assured,” Rao said.

However, files which were maintained manually suffered the same fate as those maintained by the BDA. Once again officials were told to address grievances promptly.

Both BDA Commissioner T Sham Bhat and BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana were present during the scrutiny at their respective departments.