Funds Crunch Leaves Mayor's Medical Assistance Scheme Comatose
As many as 544 files related to requests for medical assistance, amounting to `2.84 crore, from the Mayor’s Fund, have been gathering dust at the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) head office for more than 10 months, leaving needy people in the lurch.
When Express managed to meet some of the people who are waiting to receive the funds, they all expressed disappointment with the BBMP for making empty promises.
“My son Rajath (10) broke his right hand in last October and was treated at a private hospital. I had submitted the bills and my address to receive assistance. Even though the BBMP announced `15,000 as reimbursement, for over an year, the only response I have been getting from officials is the same: Mundina vara banni (come next week),” said Kalpana.
Leelavathy, whose mother Lakshmamma was treated for a kidney ailment at Rangadore Hospital at Chamrajpet, said she had applied for assistance in December last year.
“A BBMP official had told me that I would get the grant in November. But when I contacted them, they said the BBMP had no money,” she recalled.
Responding to queries on the issue, Mayor B S Sathyanarayana told Express that the BBMP will boost resource mobilisation by collection of taxes and advertisement revenue.
“There is a crisis and we will solve it as and when we generate funds for distribution of welfare benefits,” said the Mayor.
M K Gunashekhar, former leader of the opposition in the BBMP council, said the ruling BJP had failed to improve the civic body’s performance.
“Three years ago, they were supposed to bring in legislation for advertisement revenue, which would have fetched `100 crore. A plan to mobilise `2,000 crore through Akrama Sakrama four year ago also was not implemented by the BJP even though it was in power in both the BBMP as well as the State government. As a result, the BBMP is not capable of clearing even a sum of `4 crore for medical bills,” Gunashekhar charged.