Thanks to BBMP, Is Bengaluru a dead city?

Unregulated growth and graft at BBMP are killing Bengaluru

Unregulated growth and graft at BBMP are killing Bengaluru
Unregulated growth and graft at BBMP are killing Bengaluru. Photo courtesy Baadal Nanjundaswamy

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]B[/dropcap]engaluru as it is called these days is dead and in mortuary – only to be buried in its own potholes. It is an important case study on how Netas/ Babus facilitated by judiciary did kill a city.From 1972 or so the city has been taken for a ride by officials in Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), in indiscriminately approving housing layouts and multi-storey buildings on lakes and every possible water outflow system.

The pathetic and shameful issue is that neither agency has at any time any detailed map made available to citizens on where you cannot build. There is something called “Raja Kaluvei” or storm water drains on which buildings should not be built. But Alas all these drains are used for high rises and other houses. There is a project called Bhoomi under BBMP jurisdiction which is supposed to tell you about these places. You are required to be a super expert in understanding those hand drawn maps and read very small letters in Kannada. And till 2015 even these were not available.

No official at BDA or BBMP is willing or interested in providing accurate information about where you cannot build. Herein lie the seeds of bribery and thievery.

Since the average citizen is not knowing about the exact situation and many inspectors/ officials are willing to sanction your plan for a bribe – the system has collapsed. BBMP – is the biggest scam in Karnataka. Its accounts have not been audited for a long period and High Court was wanting it to be dissolved.

Wondering how private accounts in banks could be maintained on behalf of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) by its officials, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday suggested to the State government to take a call on dissolving the civic body and appointing an administrator.

A Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice Ravi Malimath made oral observations in this regard during the hearing of a PIL which alleged that the BBMP has consistently failed to get its accounts audited, as mandated by law, for the past five years resulting in several scams.

The bench ordered issue of notices to the Union Ministry of Finance, State Government, BBMP and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

The PIL was filed by Namma Bengaluru Foundation and Rajya Sabha Member Rajeev Chandrasekhar. It has sought directions to the CAG to audit the BBMP’s accounts from 2011 to 2015 and to the State government to probe, identify persons and reasons for non-conduct of timely audits.

Appearing for the petitioners, Senior Counsel Sajjan Poovayya contended that non-conduct of audit by the BBMP was one of the reasons why Bengaluru did not qualify for the Smart City project of the Union government.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]N[/dropcap]ot only that the advertising Department of BBMP does not maintain any accounts, the whole thing appears to be a huge scam.

“However, the department has not maintained any of these books, nor has the audit department pointed out the lacuna. The advertisement department has not followed any norms of accounting. The Cash book has no columns like C/F or B/F to show the arrears owed by advertisement agencies to the BBMP.”

Every year from 1990s a couple of children die in Bengaluru by slipping into an open manhole during rainy season. No action or punishment to any official. Rajya Sabha MP Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar has filed a criminal case in 2014 and the case is moving at a snail’s pace.

A large number of potholes get created on Bengaluru roads and everyday one hears about death of a two wheeler driver due to these potholes. Police file cases against the drivers of these two wheelers for negligent driving. That is the height of cruelty.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]R[/dropcap]ecently in an apparent show BBMP started demolishing fully constructed houses with all approvals stating that they are on Storm Water Drains (SWD). The court asked about punishment to officials who had granted approvals to these houses.

Alas official cannot be punished for getting bribes and approving these layouts and houses!

“Section 321(B) of the Karnataka Municipal Council Act provides for punishing corrupt officials but does not quantify the punishment, he observed. “It is high time to direct the state to amend the necessary Acts to initiate criminal action against erring officials,” the judge said.

As of now the Government can at the maximum transfer these officials if it wants to punish them.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]t has been more than 2 years since the Revenue Department in the office of the Deputy Commissioner (Urban) surveyed the SWD network in the city. Even though the report was submitted to the BBMP, officials are yet to even complete fixing the boundaries of drains.

A severe rain like what was witnessed by Chennai in 2015—would completely submerge and destroy Bengaluru since it is unofficially stated that 95% of the city’s drainage system is clogged.

The Davos crowd works in IT majors in 21st century and BBMP runs on 19th century – corruption and absolute carelessness.

Bengaluru – RIP.

Views Personal

Bibliography:

  1. HC asks BBMP to name erring officials.

  2. Each BBMP advocate is handling 400 cases.

  3. The curious case of BBMP apps.

  4. Demolition Drive Koliwad Committee to recommend dismissal of BBMP officials.

  5. High Court asks State Government to take a call on dissolving BBMP.


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R Vaidyanathan

Prof R. Vaidyanathan

Cho S Ramaswamy Visiting Chair Professor of Public policy[CRVCPPP]

Sastra University

An expert in Finance and a two times Fulbright Scholar, Prof. R Vaidyanathan is a much sought after author, speaker and TV commentator on all items related to Money and Finance.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Shocking but apparently true. If there are no proper systems to mark areas which can be sold to builders or property buyers how is one to ascertain the legitimacy of the property one buys, whether it is a flat or an independent house? What has the government been around, for the last 70 years? What is the way out of this? Is any step, even basic legitimate legislated step being taken to address any of this?

  2. Mr. Modi just providing a corruption free government is not enough, swift action against the corrupt is a desperate need of the day, that will set a deterrence for others to follow. This country has been plagued with corruption resulting in substandard services / infrastructure that masses have been putting up with the the last 70 years.
    I am sorry to say that you are not living up to your 2014 election promises and continuing to stay enamoured with Jhootley, will only further dent your image and prospects for 2019, at worst, country will suffer. You still have 3 years left, bring in Dr. Swamy now to eradicate the corrupt, this would be akin to half the battle won in ushering the country towards a modern progressive state.
    Don’t worry about the pereception of being termed as vindictive, economy might take a bit of a hit, but this cancer of corruption needs to be obliterated from this land.

  3. if I am not wrong, of the 13 Karnataka state governments elected thus far since 1947, INC elected 8 times including the current one, BJP twice , Janata Dal /secular thrice. All are responsible for bringing Bengaluru to
    such a dilapidated state. But I must state that culture of corruption has its genesis in Congress the fountain head of all unscrupulous activities. I hope BJP under Modi will eradicate this corrupt culture and revive /steer India back to its original culture wherein morals / ethics / values were held in high esteem.

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