BENGALURU: Although the new Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Act came into effect on Monday, it gave rise to the crucial questions of who the new zonal commissioners will be.Under the new law, each of the BBMP’s eight zones will have a Zonal Commissioner, whose role will be akin to that of a sub-Mayor. Their appointment has become the biggest challenge for the BBMP, the Urban Development Department and the state government as the post of commissioner is to be filled by an IAS officer and not below the rank of secretary. At present, zonal officers are KAS officers.
The post of BBMP Commissioner, whose rank is that of a principal secretary, has been renamed Chief Commissioner. The act also increases the number of wards from 198 to 243, and will be headed by a ward councillor. “The challenge now is to get the officers of IAS rank. The present officials are of a lower cadre (KAS) than what the government has approved.
The challenge is going to be big as new zonal commissioners should not have any other posting, as they should be able to devote 100% to the post of zonal commissioner. At present all officials already have other commitments and are not keen to take this on as an additional role. Along with the revision of the ward list, appointment of officials is another challenge at hand,” a BBMP official seeking anonymity told TNIE.
If Special Commissioners in the BBMP are made zonal commissioners, other officers must be appointed in their place as Special Commissioners.Another challenge is is the redefining of zones. There are eight zones and 198 wards, but the increment of BBMP limits by a one-kilometre radius will mean increasing the number of wards to 243, and the number of zones to nine or 10.
The official said the challenge would not end with this. Formation of ward committees would have to balance representatives of SC and ST communities, women, councillors, and residents; the constituency consultative committees would need MLAs and senior officers, a delimitation committee needs to be formed to redraw the boundaries of wards.