BENGALURU: Soon after the Supreme Court ordered the government to complete the delimitation exercise of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) from 198 to 243 wards that would go for election, members of a Joint House Panel decided to drop the idea of adding 5sqkm area of gram panchayats into its jurisdiction. Aiming to hold BBMP elections in August, the panel members said the city will grow multi-fold, and management with one corporation will become impossible.
BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath on Friday said the delimitation exercise can be completed within the deadline, as 243 wards are being carved out from the existing 198 wards. He said additional areas are not being included at the moment. The draft is almost ready and will be sent to the government for approval. It will be finalised by the chief secretary, special commissioner (finance), deputy commissioners and panel members. The prime principle in the delimitation exercise has been equi-distribution of population and area.
As per the panel, each ward will have a population of around 35,000-36,000 while geographical area is not a constraint, but electoral census blocks have been referred for division. Panel member and Basavanagudi MLA Ravi Subramanya said there was only a proposal for inclusion of 5sqkm gram panchayat areas of KR Puram, Mahadevapura and parts of Yelahanka. Since infrastructure will be an issue, it was decided to drop it and focus on the existing 198 wards for better administration.
“Once the process is done, we will call for objections, 15 days’ time will be given and a final notification will be issued. After this, reservation will have to be taken up. We will be able to finish it in two months, and the Election Commission may come up with a election calendar,” he said. A BJP leader said the report will be given to the state government by Monday. “Soon after CM Basavaraj Bommai is back from Delhi, it will be cleared and put in public domain for objections. By July 20, the entire process will be completed, and code of conduct should set in by July 24. Elections would be held in August,” the BJP leader said.
Panel member S Raghu said of the 243 wards, 50 per cent will be reserved for women and OBCs. He added that the BBMP Act does not include the 5sqkm area.
A senior BBMP official said, “Due to delays in inclusion, some gram panchayats have already held their elections and curtailing that is not possible. Also, since many suburbs have grown, including some and leaving out the rest is not right.”
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Soon after delimitation was announced, the question of what to name the new wards has become a matter of concern. “Many MLAs, former corporators and influential citizens are keen that wards be named after them. This is delaying the final draft. So we have suggested naming wards based on areas, roads or layouts with the maximum population. Names of deceased politicians and freedom fighters are also being listed. ,” a BBMP official told TNIE.
CM SAYS PROCESS IN ITS FINAL STAGES
BENGALURU: CM Basavaraj Bommai has welcomed the Supreme Court order asking the State government to complete the process of ward delimitation and reservation of wards for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in eight weeks, to hold the BBMP polls. Bommai told reporters the delimitation process is in its final stage. The Justice Bhaktavatsala Commission is working on preparing the OBC caste reservation matrix for wards. “I welcome the Supreme Court order to hold polls to local bodies with provision for OBC reservation, as it has upheld the State government’s plea in this regard,” he said.