BENGALURU: While Bengaluru’s citizens already suffer due to bad roads in the city, they might even have to pay extra because of these very roads. Interestingly, the decision will be taken by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike — the agency responsible for the maintenance of city’s roads.
BBMP might impose an additional transport cess, amounting to 2 per cent of the property tax payable. The purpose of the cess is to cover up losses incurred by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) — pegged at around Rs 30 crore — with bad roads being one of the reasons for their losses.
BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad confirmed that a decision on imposition of the cess is scheduled to be taken during BBMP’s council meeting scheduled on Tuesday. A BBMP notice states that if implemented, the cess will be collected from the ongoing financial year itself (2018-19), and even those who have already paid property tax will need to pay the cess.
In July, Transport Minister D C Thammanna had raised concerns over high losses incurred by BMTC, and in addition to announcing higher fares had requested the BBMP to begin collection of transport cess.
Speaking to Express on Monday, Thammanna said, “We have made a suggestion to BBMP to levy transport cess to reduce losses incurred by BMTC. Every month, BMTC incurs Rs 30 crore in losses due to traffic jams and bad roads. Normally, a bus that has to operate 200km per day covers only 110km.”
The minister added that imposition of the cess was only a suggestion.
“The decision, and the quantity of such a cess, if so imposed, is also up to them,” he said.Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said the state government had asked the BBMP to weigh the pros and cons of the move. He clarified that BBMP had been given a free hand and the state government will not interfere in the decision.