Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike officials should be penalised for not maintaining public toilets built at a cost of Rs 100 crore by the Infosys Foundation, members across party lines in the Legislative Council said on Tuesday.
Coming down heavily on the BBMP for lack of public toilets and poor maintenance of existing ones, JD(S) member M C Nanaiah said: "We must penalise BBMP officials for their apathy and lack of commitment to improve civic facilities."
The members were reacting to a clause in the Karnataka Municipalities (Amendment) Bill-2013, tabled by Minister Vinaykumar Sorake, which penalises public urination, besides littering and non-segregation of waste. The Council passed the bill that even has an imprisonment penalty for more than five violations.
Congress member K Govindaraju and Deputy Chairman Vimala Gowda wanted more toilets in the city. "The 100 toilet complexes constructed by Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murty have turned into godowns as there are no power and water connections to these," Govindaraju said, supported by Vimala.
Opposition Leader D V Sadananda Gowda expressed shock that `100 crore had been spent on the toilets by the Infosys Foundation. "Toilets have been constructed at Rs 8 lakh each, when just Rs 1.20 lakh is given for Ashraya Houses?" he asked. Nanaiah sarcastically contended that public toilets are a symbol of national integration, as 'everyone uses them.'
JD(S) member E Krishnappa pointed out that there are no toilets in and around Vidhana Soudha, though people come from all over the state to visit it. His fellow member K P Sanappa wanted to know: "How do the officials catch people urinating when there are no public toilets?"
Gowda, on a more serious note, said the government should include a clause to create civic awareness and wanted the BBMP to collect garbage before 8.30 am.
Nanaiah said BBMP corporators are more powerful than MLAs and there is a strong nexus between members, officials and contractors. He contended that the city has three lakh dogs. "This is like one dog for 10 people. There are increasing cases of dog bites and death due to dog attacks. What are the officials doing?" he asked. Referring to the BJP government's claim that Rs 17,000 crore has been spent in three years on the city, he wanted to know: "Where has the money gone?"
Talking of another clause in the bill, Congress member C Motamma and BJP member Ganesh Karnik wanted to know who can be fined for pets polluting the parks during morning walks.