The coffers of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are near empty. Following a heated discussion on funds to be released for medical grants and implementation of welfare schemes on Monday, civic chief N. Manjunath Prasad informed the council that there was just ₹68 crore in the accounts.
“With this, we have to pay salaries and fulfil other commitments. We need to stress on revenue mobilisation. Depending on availability of funds, we will release money on priority for different purposes,” he said.
Senior councillors B.S. Sathyanarayana and Padmanabha Reddy spoke about the government’s decision to allow sale of leased properties as a means to garner revenue. While Mr. Reddy pointed out that land had been leased at low rates, Mr. Sathyanarayana said the council must pass a resolution allowing Kannada schools and organisations to renew their leases.
Mr. Prasad said the government order on sale of leased land applied to both, the Bangalore Development Authority and BBMP. As per records, 921 acres in Bengaluru had been leased to various organisations and generated a revenue of just ₹6.5 crore.
Councillors also pointed out that there were several parcels of government lands in the newly added areas, and urged the commissioner to take possession as many of the sites had been encroached upon by land sharks.
Mohan Kumar, chairperson of Standing Committee for Major Works, cited an instance of 10 acres of BBMP property on Bannerghatta Road worth ₹500 crore that had been encroached.
Total Station Survey tabled
After the Total Station Survey report was tabled in the council, Mr. Reddy pointed out that as per the report, the civic body had incurred a loss of not less than ₹500 crore with many property owners not declaring the extent of property under the Self Assessment Scheme. Citing from the report, he said though there are many star hotels in the city, the officials had classified them as hotels and restaurants, as a result of which they paid less by way of property tax.
Mr. Reddy alleged that the loss was also in part due to officials giving exemptions in connivance with property owners. He urged the Mayor to direct the Commissioner to write to the government and Chief Secretary seeking powers to initiate disciplinary action against guilty officials.
Later, the council passed a resolution to transfer an additional ₹5 crore to the Mayor’s medical grant, which had ₹3 crore left.
Garbage tenders cleared
Fearing contempt of the Karnataka High Court, the BBMP council on Monday cleared the garbage tenders that were pending for well over a year. With this, the tenders for nearly 150 wards have been cleared, and the civic body can now start issuing work orders.
Contractors would be responsible for collecting and transporting wet and sanitary waste while dry waste would be collected by ragpickers from the Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCCs) or self-help groups.