As the five-year term of Bengaluru’s civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) ended recently, Janaagraha, a non-profit organisation, organised an online event in which former BBMP corporators discussed their term in office.
The event ‘Namma Nayakaru’(Our Leaders in Kannada) was held on Saturday, where 12 Councillors shared their views on their tenure as BBMP Corporators (2019-2020) which ended on September 10. The corporators talked about their experiences, and also shared insights and their side of the story.
Mohan Kumar D, Former Public Works Standing Committee Chairman and Corporator of Nagarabhavi, estimated that Rs 50,000 crore of BBMP property has been encroached upon by various groups. He said it is very important to recover the BBMP’s lost properties, and that those could be utilised to generate revenue for developmental works in the city.
Former Mayor (2019-2020) Goutham Kumar added that both BBMP legal team and Estate Department should be working to recover the properties. ”Fifty thousand crores of BBMP property is still not with BBMP. We need to claim it back by appointing officials who monitor this,” Goutham Kumar said.
Speaking on his term, he said, “For a city like Bengaluru, there is a need to design a comprehensive development plan and one-year term for a Mayor is not enough to implement the same. He said the term should be extended to at least 2.5 years.
“We need revenue for development. If we streamline our properties and put processes in order and collect taxes in a seamless manner, BBMP has the potential to raise Rs 5,000 crore of property tax. We have an inflated budget of Rs 10,000 crore with only Rs 3,000 crore income,” said Former Tax and Finance Standing Committee Chairman and Corporator of Shankara Matta Shivaraju.
Swetha Vijaykumar, who served as the Corporator of Doddanekundi, mooted for efficient working of ward committees calling it a ‘support system of citizens’. She also stressed that the civic body should provide timely assistance to corporators so that it can aid their efforts.
Former BBMP opposition leader and Corporator of Kacharkanahalli, Padmanabha Reddy highlighted the need for ward committees to be given additional powers and hence made effective not just in name but also in function. He also demanded that the councillors and mayor be given powers as dictated by article 243.
Speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic, former Appeal Standing Committee Chairman and Corporator of Domlur CR Lakshminarayanan said, “COVID issue was very challenging for us. If we need to work effectively, we need all departments to work well with more support from the legal department.”
Janaagraha Civic Participation Head Srinivas Alavilli said that many residents who joined the webinar have appreciated the event and termed it an eye-opener.
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