The Karnataka Congress government’s bill to divide Bengaluru city into three or more smaller administrative units was passed by the state legislative assembly on Tuesday after the legislative council, where the opposition BJP is in a majority, rejected the bill Monday.
The Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Bill 2015 had initially been passed by the state assembly on April 20 this year but was defeated by the council on Monday. The assembly where the Congress has a clear majority of 123 members in the 224 member house passed the bill again on Tuesday to send it to Governor Vajubhai Vala for his assent.
The Congress government is looking at enacting the new law for Bengaluru at the earliest as part of an effort to postpone local elections that have been scheduled for August under court orders.
Under the new law the existing urban area of Bengaluru called the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike spread over 198 wards will cease to exist and will be redrawn as smaller corporations.
An expert committee on Restructuring of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in a report submitted to the state on July 13 recommended division of the BBMP into five municipal corporations with mayors to be directly elected by the people.
The new law to divide Bengaluru aims to improve administration of the city which has an 80 lakh population and to curb corruption in the bloated city council law minister T B Jayachandra said.
“For the purpose of smooth administration of the corporation of the city of Bangalore an expert committee appointed by the government has also recommended in its interim report the division of the corporation of the city of Bangalore. Therefore it is considered necessary to reconstitute the corporation of the city of Bangalore into two or more corporations,” the law minister has stated.
The passage of the new law is expected to buy the Congress government more time to conduct elections to the city council that had earlier been ordered by the high court and the Supreme Court after the Congress government dissolved the city council in April at the end of the elected council’s tenure and took administrative control of the city.