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New ward offices dysfunctional as BBMP struggles to find staff

BBMP sources point out that the civic body remained understaffed for a long time and a previous proposal to appoint 1,300 people remains pending with the state government
Last Updated : 09 November 2022, 00:46 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2022, 00:46 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2022, 00:46 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2022, 00:46 IST

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Three months after the BBMP published the delimitation report to create 45 additional wards, the newly formed entities are yet to have fully functioning offices.

Despite setting up offices in many of the wards, the BBMP is yet to recruit staff to run them. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Special Commissioner (Administration) Rangappa S said the civic body requires 2,845 additional staff to run the new offices.

“We have prepared a proposal to be sent soon to the state government for approval,” Rangappa said, listing out revenue officers, assistant engineers, health inspectors, pourakarmikas, and clerical staff among the vacant positions in every ward. “A few can be relocated, but most of them should be appointed newly,” Rangappa said.

The BBMP’s proposal showed that the new wards require 163 revenue officers, 71 engineers, 2,115 pourakarmikas, 271 administrative-level staff, and a few other clerical staff. The Palike may have to foot an additional Rs 100-crore bill as salaries to the new recruits.

BBMP sources point out that the civic body remained understaffed for a long time and a previous proposal to appoint 1,300 people remains pending with the state government. Besides, another 3,000 vacancies are yet to be filled.

“There was an acute shortage of engineers and we had to appoint 197 of them from the Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (Keonics) on a contract basis to manage the volume of work,” a senior BBMP official said, adding it would be impossible to work without recruitment.

Citizen activists are concerned that the purpose of creating new wards could be defeated if new offices do not become operational. “The (delimitation) exercise is meant to decentralise (administration) and bring governance closer to people. But failure to appoint staff will derail the process,” said Srinivas Alavilli, head, civic participation, Janaagraha.

Nodal officers have been appointed to all the wards, but ward committee meetings happen jointly since they do not have officers. People continue to throng old offices to get their issues sorted out.

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Published 08 November 2022, 23:11 IST

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