BANGALORE: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday flew into a rage against senior BBMP officials over their mishandling of Bangalore’s garbage crisis.
“You come here as if you are visiting your in-laws’ house,” he told them sarcastically, at a meeting also attended by Bangalore in-charge minister Ramalinga Reddy and Mayor Satyanarayana. He asked top municipal officials why they had failed to act on their earlier promise of finding an alternative to the garbage landfill at Mandur. “Because of your indifference, we are bowing our heads in shame before people. You are so thick-skinned you have no shame,” Siddaramaiah is said to have shouted at the officials.
BBMP’s Joint Commissioners came in for special treatment as Siddaramaiah made them stand up and explain what they had done over the past week. “Show me your work diary and explain where you went for inspection in the last few days. Have you maintained your work log?” he asked.
He reminded them they had been given cars and mobile phones to discharge their duties. He instructed them to be in the field by 6.30 am to inspect garbage clearance.
In many areas, contractors were not lifting garbage but officials were still passing their bills, he said.
Scared officials fumbled for answers as Siddaramaiah continued to ask them tough questions. He told them to show results in garbage clearance within three months. The Chief Minister asked BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana to suspend officials who continued to remain lax.
Rs 5,000 Crore Target
Siddaramaiah next sought an explanation for the BBMP’s failure to achieve the revenue target of `2,500 crore from property tax.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Siddaramaiah said the BBMP had collected just `1,300 crore last year.
Bangalore has the potential to net about `5,000 crore, he remarked.
Only 15 Lakh Assets Under Tax Net
Ramalinga Reddy endorsed his estimate.
“Delhi has collected `8,000 crore from property tax and Bangalore definitely has the potential to collect `5,000 crore,” he said.
Of the 25 lakh properties in Bangalore, only 15 lakh are under the tax net.
“We have asked officials to bring all properties under the tax net by the end of September,” Reddy said.
Deadline for Filling Potholes
The Chief Minister set a deadline of one month for BBMP officials to fill the potholes on city roads.