Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner Anil Kumar was transferred on Saturday and replaced by Manjunath Prasad who was the Principal Secretary of Revenue Department. Anil Kumar has been shunted out amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru.
Anil Kumar was appointed as BBMP Commissioner in August 2019 replacing Manjunath Prasad. Now Anil Kumar has been posted as Additional Chief Secretary in the Department of Public Enterprises. Manjunath Prasad remains in concurrent charge as Principal Secretary of Revenue Department and BBMP.
The city is currently under lockdown till 5 am on July 22 and Anil Kumar had contradicted Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's contention that the lockdown should not be extended in the city.
Sources told TNM that Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa was unhappy with Anil Kumar about corruption allegations made against BBMP officials while managing the COVID-19 crisis.
Manjunath Prasad is no stranger to the role of BBMP Commissioner having held the post twice previously. A 1994 batch IAS officer, he previously served as BBMP Commissioner for more than two years after he was appointed in April 2016.
He was abruptly transferred out of his post in May 2018 after an order passed by the Election Commission of India (ECI). He was reinstated two months later and replaced by Anil Kumar in 2019. During the COVID-19 crisis, Manjunath Prasad was appointed as the nodal officer for interstate travel from Karnataka. He was tasked with managing the large number of migrant workers leaving the state to their hometowns.
He was criticised for the decision to suspend trains for the passage of migrant workers on May 5. The decision was reversed on May 7 after thousands of migrant workers began walking home. A sharp spike in COVID-19 cases were reported in Bengaluru at the end of June. Two weeks later, the city was placed under a fresh lockdown from July 14 to 22. There are currently 6,010 containment zones in Bengaluru after the city's civic body added 412 new containment zones on Friday.
Bengaluru is currently grappling with 20,623 active COVID-19 cases and has reported 582 COVID-19 deaths so far.