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Karnataka Assembly passes Bill to give Bengaluru its own law

The Bill will result in delimitation and the number of wards in the city will go up from 198 to 243
harath Joshi
Last Updated : 10 December 2020, 09:57 IST
Last Updated : 10 December 2020, 09:57 IST
Last Updated : 10 December 2020, 09:57 IST
Last Updated : 10 December 2020, 09:57 IST

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The Karnataka Assembly on Thursday passed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Bill, which promises a new governance structure for the city besides increasing its municipal area.

At present, Bengaluru is governed under the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act. That the city should get a separate law was a long-pending demand.

The Bill was passed with the Opposition benches empty as the Congress had decided to boycott the proceedings whereas the JD(S) did not show up.

The Bill proposes ‘constituency consultative committees’, which are expected to give MLAs more say in the way the city is run.

Piloting the Bill, Law Minister JC Madhuswamy said Bengaluru needed a separate law as the city had become unwieldy. “Much has changed since the last delimitation was done. We’re not able to tell what’s BBMP and what’s a gram panchayat or a town panchayat,” he said. “On par with the rising population and area, we want to provide good administration for the city,” he added.

Once the Bill becomes law, Bengaluru will have two mayors in five years - each getting a 30-month tenure.

The Bill proposes to divide the city into zones - up to 15 - and each one will have a committee. “Earlier, there were zonal commissioners. Now, each zone will have a committee that will be responsible for the execution of works. They will be empowered to solve problems under their jurisdiction,” Madhuswamy said.

“The constituency consultative committee will be headed by the local MLA and have members including those from resident welfare associations. This committee will aid the zonal committees, review their functioning, monitor implementation of works and look at how wards that are backward can be developed,” Madhuswamy explained.

The new-look BBMP will also have the power to levy a fee for advertisements and collect entertainment tax. “After GST, we couldn’t levy a tax on advertisement. Instead of a tax, there’ll be a fee. Likewise, we’re allowing the civic body to levy an entertainment tax,” the minister said.

The Bill will result in delimitation and the number of wards in the city will go up from 198 to 243. The city’s municipal area will also expand to cover a 1-km radius of the existing boundary, which is expected to consume outlying villages and suburbs.

“There was some confusion on this. What if there are villages just 100-400 metres away from the 1-km radius? Such places can be brought under the municipal limits by way of a separate notification,” Madhuswamy said.

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Published 10 December 2020, 09:57 IST

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