BENGALURU: Newly-elected Mayor Manjunath Reddy said he wants property taxes, which haven’t been changed for the last eight years, revised.
Soon after being declared mayor, Reddy told reporters on Friday that according to the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, property taxes should be revised once in three years.
“There were political motives for not revising it,” he said, indirectly blaming the BJP. “There is a need to increase property taxes to bring in financial stability in the BBMP,” he said.
Reddy also called for bringing back a systematic pay-and-park system in the city.
“The pay-and-park system is now controlled by a mafia. People with vested interests are looting people. A systematic system will also ensure safety of vehicles,” he said. On the BBMP budget, he said he will review the one presented earlier with officials. However, he said they will present the budget in March.
“We will not present an unrealistic and mega budget like the one the BJP did,” he said.
Priorities: “Bringing financial discipline and streamlining garbage disposal are my top priorities,” said Reddy, and blamed the BJP for the BBMP’s poor financial state.
“They were involved in scams and not development,” he said. He added that he would ensure the Palike’s properties are safeguarded and earn revenues from them.
Citing an example, he said BBMP’s commercial establishments were not fetching enough revenue but were instead bleeding the Palike which has to pay for their maintenance. “This will be streamlined,” he said.
He warned of penalties on illegal buildings in city and called for curbing such buildings.
Hitting out at the BJP, Reddy said they had promised to widen 93 roads. “But they widened only four. We will try to acquire land through TDR and make an honest attempt to widen congested roads,” he said.
Do not put up my flexes: Reddy appealed to his followers not to put up flexes congratulating him. “According to official data, there are more than 22,000 illegal hoardings across the city. There is a need to streamline them and explore the possibility of earning additional revenue from them,’’ he said.
Mayor pats administrator: The Mayor appreciated the administrator’s efforts and said he was successful in trying to keep the city clean. However, he disagreed with the administrator’s advice of not taking up any development work for the next one-and-half years.
Obstacles: When pointed out that the BJP with a majority with 101 members could be an obstacle while passing resolutions, Reddy said, “At the end of the day all of us work for Bengaluru. Just because they sit in the Opposition, they should not oppose everything,” he said
Class for new members: Of the 198 councillors, only 25 per cent of them are seniors. “Most of them are new faces with no experience. There is a need for them to know about KMC Act,” Reddy said.
One Mayor cannot manage the City: When it was pointed out to him that he represented the Congress which did not favour just one Mayor for Bengaluru, Reddy said one Mayor cannot manage Bengaluru in one year. “The Mayor’s term should be either five years or two-and-half years. It takes more than one hour to travel from part of the city to another,” he added.