'Hoardings mushrooming, but taxes from them stagnant'

'Hoardings mushrooming, but taxes from them stagnant'

The floor leader of JD(S), Thimme Gowda, on Tuesday accused the BBMP of not focusing on various revenue generation schemes.

Participating in the discussion over the BBMP budget, Gowda held the legal cell responsible for not protecting the interests of BBMP in the High Court. He said the hoardings in the City had been increasing by the day, while the revenue from advertisement taxes remained stagnant. This, he argued, is mainly because the advertisers have filed a litigation in the High Court and the legal cell was not fighting the case against them strongly.

He alleged that the legal cell was not keen on getting the stay on the Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) rent vacated.

“The telecom firms have laid OFCs covering at least 85 per cent of the City, but that did not increase Palike’s revenue. We passed several resolutions, but no action was taken to generate revenue from the OFCs,” said Gowda.

He highlighted the lacunae in the implementation of various welfare schemes, which affected the financially weaker sections directly. He also sought to know the progress in protecting lakes and parks in the City. He said most of the lakes in the Palike’s custody were encroached, but little action was taken to clear the encroachments. He pointed to the encroachment of government property by Mantri Developers behind Mantri Mall.

“A BBMP report showed that Mantri Developers had encroached upon at least 2.5 acres of government land. However, instead of stopping the builder, the BBMP engineers sanctioned the building plan of two storeys,” said Gowda. He also took a dig at Bescom and the telecom firms for ruining the City roads.

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