Monday, June 27, 2005

BMA is here

All-in-one civic body is here
The Times of India

Bangalore: Citizens can hope for better services with the government breathing life into the Bangalore Metropolitan Authority (BMA), an umbrella agency that coordinates all of Bangalore civic bodies.

After procrastination and a missive from the high court, the government has decided to accelerate the BMA work.
Sources said chief minister N. Dharam Singh has directed urban development department secretary M. Shamim Banu to work out the modalities for the formation of BMA. “The urban development department is working on the guidelines to form the body, composition, jurisdiction of work, powers, finances aspect and recruitments. The department is studying a similar experiment done in other cities,’’ sources said.

When the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA), an autonomous body, was formed in 1985, the organisation was perceived to be a coordinating agency. But its jurisdiction was different — planning, coordinating and supervising the orderly development of the areas within the Bangalore Metropolitan Region comprising Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural districts and Malur taluk of Kolar district. As per law, BMRDA takes the lead in chalking out urban development polices and also has to act as an umbrella organisation for the planning authorities.

But the proposed BMA will have under it BCC, BDA, Bescom, BWSSB, BSNL, traffic, BMTC and BMRDA. “Every project that has to be implemented in the city will be finalised by BMA after holding discussions with the authorities concerned. This, to avoid duplication of work and ensure that the project does not suffer. A clear example is the road-digging work taken up in the city. The same roads are dug up frequently to lay utility cables by different organisations, which brings down the life span,’’ sources stated.

Some instances of civic agencies working at cross purposes:

• The 100-ft district main road connecting Old Madras Road to Varthur via C.V. Raman Nagar and Kaggadasapura has shrunk to a mere 18 feet due to encroachments. None knows how to tackle the problems — BCC, PWD or National Highways. The area comes under BCC but the road is maintained by PWD.

• Sarjapur Road was a mess. The road falls under PWD’s maintenance, but the area is under a gram panchayat. The stretch was deplorable and the government had to set up a task force to take up a road project.

• Till Metro junction on Kanakapura road, the stretch is asphalted. Further up towards Kanakapura, there is no road. Because, the latter part of the stretch does not belong to BCC but to a CMC. So, the development stops there.


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