Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mayor cancels tenders

Mayor cancels tenders
Deccan Herald

Noting that the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike administration had not taken the BMP council into confidence before calling for tenders pertaining to re-introduction of the paid-parking system in the City, Mayor Mumtaz Begum ordered their cancellation on Monday.

However, Commissioner K Jairaj did not attach much importance to the mayor’s order, stating to reporters later that the administration is standing “on strong legal ground.”

This was just another episode of the political and administrative wrangle that has been on since the beginning of the year – after the State Government (on December 31, 2005) struck down the BMP’s decision to make vehicle parking fee-free in the City. (Parking has been fee-free since April 2005.)

Responding to media queries, the commissioner said the memo intimating the State Government’s decision was recorded in the BMP council many months ago (in mid-February), and therefore, the administration has done nothing wrong in calling for tenders. However, he added that he would consult legal experts again.

He also did not think much of the mayor’s argument that the BMP’s sub-committee, which reviewed the matter (in the wake of the government’s decision), had also maintained that parking should be free in the city. “It is a different matter,” Mr Jairaj said, noting that right now, the government’s order is the final word on the issue.

The tenders, which were called in mid-September, are scheduled to be opened on October 31, he said. The same pertains to the re-introduction of the manual paid-parking system on 13 roads in the City.

Questions raised

The mayor’s order came after questions were raised on the tenders by Opposition BJP leader A H Basavaraj. Confusion prevailed for a while, when Congress members got the facts wrong and charged the JD(S)-BJP coalition with playing politics with a popular measure introduced by the Congress-ruled BMP. Gleeful BJP members corrected them — it was the previous Congress-JD(S) government that had struck down the BMP’s resolution.

The competence of the City’s traffic cops was also questioned by the corporators. “If traffic in the city can be regulated only through the paid-parking system, then what good are traffic cops? They are asking the public to perform their role,” noted Congress corporator Sayeed Jaleel.


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