Saturday, September 30, 2006

Greater Bangalore: single corporation likely to be set up

Greater Bangalore: single corporation likely to be set up

The Hindu

Committee formed to prepare a blueprint

BANGALORE: Setting aside all suggestions of forming two or three separate corporations under the Greater Bangalore project, the State Government is likely to set up a single corporation by merging seven city municipal councils (CMCs), a town municipality and 106 villages with the BMP.

This is to ensure that the 12-lakh population of the CMCs, TMC and surrounding villages does not feel left out from the core area of Bangalore.

The process has already been set in motion and BMP Commissioner K. Jairaj has set up a committee of top BMP officials to prepare a blueprint for a single corporation. This committee will study the aspects of setting up new administrative patterns, zones, bringing in uniformity of taxes, asset management and how to put in place proper governance in the new body. Headed by BMP Special Commissioner Gaurav Gupta, the committee has been asked to submit its report by October 10.

Mr. Jairaj told The Hindu that the formation of a single corporation was aimed at easing administration and also improving the quality of life of citizens of the CMCs, TMC and the surrounding villages.

But most residents of CMCs have different views. "We want the Government to set up at least two corporations so that the needs of old and new areas are addressed separately. To have a uniform taxation system in the entire Greater Bangalore area, the kind of infrastructure in the newly added areas should also be the same as that in the old," Lakshman Kumar, convener of the Bommanahalli CMC Area Residents' Welfare Association, said. "It is not that we do not want development. We are particular about having it in a systematic manner. A single corporation may not be able to handle the administration of additional wards," Mr. Lakshman Kumar said. This welfare association, the Democratic Youth Federation of India, the All-India Democratic Women's Association and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have come together under the banner of Citizens' Welfare Association to put forth their views. But Mr. Jairaj is confident that "an effective administration and a good political leadership will be able to manage the greater corporation and improve the quality of life of CMC residents".

The number of wards is likely to increase from 100 to 135 with a population of 48,000 to 50,000 in each ward taking the total population of Greater Bangalore to 55 lakhs. "A comprehensive delimitation exercise will enable blending of old and new areas in each ward. There is no reason for citizens to fear that allocations will be made only for new wards or for old areas because they will not be separate entities. It will be need-based development in each ward," Mr. Jairaj explained.


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