Bengaluru is in disarray. Be it management of roads, water supply, garbage management or frothy lakes... One of the key deterrents to improving the situation is financial mismanagement.
As 2016 comes to an end, here are a list of scams that rocked the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA), Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) and the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) this year.
10th pass scam
The BBMP scam calendar kicked off 2016 with a bang, when on January 13, it was unveiled that the head of a gang, Narasimhaiah, who had only passed Class 10, had risen to become a junior engineer and later an engineer in the BBMP. He was also said to have been embroiled in the fake bill scam of Rs 9.49 crore at Chamrajpet in 2010.
In the 10th pass scam, a health inspector GR Nanjundappa, who had also studied up to Class 10, had become a junior engineer, based on a recommendation by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The information was released to the media by BJP leader and former corporator NR Ramesh.
Fake khata scam
Just when the BBMP went into damage control mode after the 10th pass scam hit the headlines, 10 days later, another scam was reported by the Deccan Herald.
On January 23, it was reported that BBMP's revenue officials had colluded with real estate touts and were indulging in converting B khatas to fake A khatas.
As many as 800 fake entries were made in the assessment register in Bilekahalli, Bommanahalli and Hongasandra wards. This was enabled as the property details in these wards are still entered manually and are not yet digitised.
A Khata is a document that certifies that the property owner has duly paid relevant property taxes to the BBMP and is in ownership of a legal property. With an A Khata in hand, property owners can apply for trade licenses, building licenses or avail loans on the property.
The B Khata is a separate register maintained by the BBMP that lists illegal properties as per a Karnataka High Court order.
The B Khata register enables the BBMP to collect taxes from buildings constructed illegally, which include properties in violations of bylaws, constructions in revenue land or unauthorized layouts, or properties without completion or issuance certificates.
BDA land scam
After a few months of calm another storm hit one of these agencies and this time, it was the BDA.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Jagadish Shettar, on April 16, alleged that the BDA had suffered losses to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore, as land mafia had colluded with officials and fabricated documents to show that the BDA had taken over their land to build roads and in turn had themselves allotted properties in prime localities, where land prices were much higher.
Illegal Bescom agreements
The BBMP and BDA may seem to be in the forefront involvement in scams but the city's BESCOM was also not devoid of being embroiled in one.
Energy Minister DK Shivakumar had, on July 20, announced that around 50 executive engineers of various electricity supply companies would face suspension for "illegal" agreements signed by them sanctioning rooftop solar units that did not exist.
The rooftop solar scheme to promote green energy was being misused as these engineers had colluded with investors in fabricating setting up of solar panels on buildings that did not exist.
Fake pourakarmika scam
As the year came to an end, another scam hit BBMP. The civic body had allegedly fabricated the existence of 6,600 pourakarmikas (sanitary workers) by creating ghost accounts, to whom BBMP has been paying salaries for the last 10 years and have pocketed the money. The scam was reported by the Bangalore Mirror on November 29.
These funds include the shareable amount set aside for Insurance and Provident Fund of its existing employees, that was not credited by them.
The scam surfaced after the Karnataka State Commission for Safai Karmacharis (KSCSK) submitted a report earlier this month, after which the home department conducted an inquiry into the matter.
Demonetisation related scam
With the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the BWSSB has come under the I-T scanner. Several BWSSB officials were issued notices by the Income Tax Department for converting black money into white, the New Indian Express had reported on December 11.