BANGALORE: In order to increase the number of private partnerships in Namma Bengaluru Nanna Kodge (NBNK), the BBMP has signed a memorandum with many of its tax defaulters, thus putting the Palike in an embarrassing situation.
NBNK, the brainchild of former Mayor B S Sathyanarayana had 350 companies that came forward to maintain and develop Palike’s parks, lakes, medians and other properties. At the council meeting, senior BJP councillor Gangabyrayya said a private advertisement agency had to pay `4 crore as advertisement tax. But the Palike has signed an agreement with this defaulter to maintain parks in Jayanagar.
When Siddaiah was Commissioner, BBMP went to this advertising agency’s office to beat drums. But now around 20 projects have been given to them,” he said. Similar cases have been reported at Bangalore South and Mahadevapura zones,he alleged.Gangabyraiah also said the then Mayor B S Sathyanarayana had sent a notice to zonal commissioners asking them not to award the projects to the advertising agency. Inspite of that, the officials have awarded the projects to the advertisement tax defaulters.
Mahadevapura zonal commissioner Devaraj said the agreement was made on July 19 this year. “We got the Mayor’s letter on August 30. By that, an agreement was signed. However, so far we have not issued the execution order,” he said.
South Zonal Commissioner Vijaykumar told the council that Pattabhirama Nagar ward Councillor C K Ramamurthy had helped the agency partner with NBNK. The South Zone has 333 parks and they were not getting any sponsors. “It was discussed that the agency had not paid the tax,” he said, thus blaming the councillor. Irked by this, Ramamurthy said it was the duty of every official to cross check the taxes paid.
Officials’ Absence Irks Councillors
Councillors cutting across party lines objected to the absence of officials concerned during the council meeting on Tuesday. Ruling party leader Ashwath Narayan Gowda who raised the issue, asked how they can conduct a meeting if officials do not turn up. “The commissioner answers every query we have and not the officials. Concerned officials should answer,” he said. Dr Rajkumar Ward councillor demanded that a warning notice be issued to absentees.