Until now similar meetings were chaired by the Chief Secretary with the top bosses of the BBMP, BDA and BWSSB on a monthly basis.

 After Ktaka HC rap on civic issues Chief Secy to chair civic bodies meet every week
news Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 19:49

n the wake of the Karnataka High Court taking serious exception to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and other bodies with regard to potholes and other civic issues in the city, Chief Secretary VIjay Bhaskar will chair review meetings weekly with the BBMP and other civic bodies. Until now similar meetings were chaired by the Chief Secretary with the top bosses of the BBMP, BDA and BWSSB on a monthly basis.

Incidentally, the HC on September 24 had told Vijay Bhaskar that it wants “concrete results” with regards to maintenance of roads, stormwater drains, entry of sewage into lakes after he was pulled up in connection with a PIL. The bench led by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari nominated senior lawyer Aditya Sondhi as an independent member to an existing committee of civic bodies, so the court can be kept abreast of its activities.

Following this, Vijay Bhaskar – who was previously with the BBMP as the state government appointed administrator in 2015 – had also reprimanded officials for allegedly inflating costs to remodel storm water drains. Reportedly, he told BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad to rationalise costs and revise costs to Rs 6-7 crore/km compared to the initially proposed Rs 10 crore/km.

For a long time, residents have complained that miscommunication or no communication between different civic bodies/parastatals often result in digging up of newly laid roads being dug up for trivial reason.

Reacting to this issue, a former Karnataka Chief Secretary said, “The problem is that BBMP being an elected body which has its own Mayor and own municipal commissioner is supposed to take care of the city. So the Chief Secretary has to make the commissioner accountable. But again the Commissioner has to work with the elected leadership.”

The retired IAS officer added, “With different bodies (like the BBMP, BWSSB and Bescom) working within the same city, there is often overlapping of jurisdiction which often becomes the problem.”

Incidentally, within just days of her election as the Mayor, Gangambike Mallikarjun has been conducting surprise checks on civic contractors and has been fining them while exposing them. On Tuesday, she ordered a penalty of Rs 25,000 to two streetlight contractors and issued a notice to a BBMP engineer for non-functional streetlight in Sanjay Nagar, Hebbal and Ganganagar.

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