Even as the State government is working on forming a committee that will look into dividing the city corporation into separate entities, urban affairs experts, elected representatives and former bureaucrats say splitting the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will improve administration.
“An expert committee will be formed soon and we will also consider the BBMP Council’s opinion. We will also conduct a public consultation,” District-in-charge Minister R Ramalinga Reddy told Express.
Jayanagar MLA B N Vijaykumar, a BJP vice-president, said BBMP should be trifurcated based on the K Dharmarajan Committee report which recommended a
similar move for the Delhi Municipal Corporation. “The existing BBMP council’s term ends in 2015. Dharmarajan, who had made a presentation in Bangalore some time back, had suggested that everything should be kept ready
by 2014 including Acts, rules, offices for new corporations and other facilities that
are needed for divided corporations,” he said.
Vijaykumar also said that geographically, Bangalore’s problems differs from one part to other. “If we have three corporations, we can focus on problems accordingly,” he said.
Urban affairs expert V Ravichander said they were against formation of the BBMP from Bangalore Mahanagara Palike in 2007. “By adding more places under one commissioner, it is difficult to administer the city. This will become centralised, which is not a good practice. Moreover, at present, there is a need to focus on newly-added wards. If BBMP is bifurcated or trifurcated, those areas can be developed. There is scope to split BBMP into four corporations,” he said.
Ravichander also said that in cities like London and New York, the city is divided as boroughs. These are clusters of local authorities which make it easier for administration. “In India, Delhi City Corporation was also divided into three - South, North and East. There is a proposal to make Chennai City Corporation into Chennai-I and Chennai-II,” he said.
Former Chief Secretary A Ravindra, who was also BMP Commissioner, felt that the BBMP area is pretty large to be managed by a single commissioner or mayor. “A single person cannot inspect all 198 wards, it is practically impossible. If BBMP was managed effectively, then there could be consideration of retaining BBMP as it is, but it is not managed properly,” he said.
Ravindra said that according to the 74th Constitutional amendment, every metropolitan city should have a Metropolitan Planning Committee for planning and co-ordination. “This was passed in 1992. Even today, we are not able to implement it in Bangalore. If we trifurcate BBMP, along with these proposed three corporations, BWSSB, BESCOM, BDA and other civic agencies will work under the Committee,” he said.
He said there is a need to bring in the Mayor-in-Council system in the city. “With smaller corporations and a Mayor with five-year term, we can have accountability, unlike now,” he said.
Former Opposition leader in the BBMP Council, M K Gunashekar, at a recent Council meeting, also spoke on dividing BBMP. “As per Section 52 of Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Procedure for the conduct of Business of the Corporation and Committee) Rules, 1998, a councillor can move the motion and give it in writing to the Mayor to discuss the issue,” he said.
Mayor B S Sathyanarayana too assured a special council meeting to discuss the issue will be held.
According to Gunashekar, the State government has the power to split BBMP. “As councillors, we know BBMP at a grassroots level. Let the issue be discussed in the Council and there be voting. We shall send it to the State government,” he said.