BBMP steals from beggars

Palike has not paid Rs 27-cr beggary cess collected from property owners to CRF
Last Updated 24 July 2010, 19:15 IST

Despite having a ‘strong’ Karnataka Prohibition of Beggary Act - 1975, the population of beggars is swelling and the State capital has a sizable population of about 50,000 beggars.

The seriousness of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) or the lack of it is reflected in the fact that it did not deposit Rs 27-crore beggary cess collected from property owners to the Central Relief Fund (CRF) of the CRC.

These are some of the facts which Rashtrotthan Sankalp Trust (RASTR) found out while doing a study on the status of beggars in Karnataka. The study was done for almost two years by Srivathsa, Harsha, Santosh Nargund, Amrutheshwara and Amit Kamath.
The team of RASTR saw a wide fluctuation in the income of CRC. The amount deposited in the CRF has not increased consistently over the years. In some instances, it has nosedived by as much as 50 - 90 per cent year on year as in 1981-82, 1993-94 or 1999-2000, the report said.

The findings show that BBMP led a default with Rs 23 crore in arrears as on October 2007. Out of 229 urban local bodies, only a few deposited the amount in the CRF.
Mysore owes Rs 23 lakh.

Incidentally, Mysore did not collect beggary cess for 14 years till 1989, when the KPB Act came into force. Mysore Urban Development Authority reportedly owed over Rs 23 lakh to the beggary relief as on September 29, 2008.

Pitiable condition
As far as the CRC is concerned, its state is as pitiable condition as the beggars of the states.
According to Santosh Nargund, Section 4 of the KPB Act lays down that the CRC shall comprise three official and four non-official members.
While the rule book specifies that the CRC shall consist of not less than 15 members and shall not exceed 30 members, its present strength is four and all of them are officers and none of them are from public.
DH News Service

*  Existing beggar population in Bangalore is around 50,000.
*  None of the municipal corporations deposited beggary cess to CRC.
*  BBMP owes about Rs 27 crore to the CRC.
*  CRC has four members as against the required number of 15.
*  No one representative from the public among the members.

(Published 24 July 2010, 19:13 IST)

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